Ulterra Drilling Technologies, a Fort Worth based PDC Bit Company, is committed to spreading awareness about breast cancer by using pink drill bits as a reminder to get that lifesaving mammogram. “Here at Ulterra we truly believe that early diagnosis is the best prevention for breast cancer which is one reason why we feel the need to help spread awareness” says Bill Stark, Ulterra’s VP of Sales & Marketing.
In 2014, Ulterra began painting all of their teal drill bits pink for the Permian Basin. This was in an effort to rally around Bill once they received the news that his wife, Anna, was fighting breast cancer. In a show of support to one of Ulterra’s own, Johnny Everett, Ulterra’s former President, requested a picture be taken with the Fort Worth manufacturing team in front of a single pink drill bit to show support for their family. With breast cancer affecting so many people, the manufacturing team took that gesture and ran with it. VP of Manufacturing Rocky Frazier said that, “Once one bit was painted pink, it was on from there”.
During this time Ulterra also decided to partner with Saving True Pairs – One Mammogram at a Time to benefit Pink the Basin by cooking lunch at their annual clay shoot. “This event is so much fun and one of the best clay shoots in the Permian Basin! Pink is seen everywhere…even pink clays and pink shotgun shells” says Debbie Bergen, President of the Saving True Pairs clay shoot. Saving True Pairs is a 501c organization that raises funds that stay in the Permian Basin to help fund mammogram vouchers for people in the area who can’t afford mammograms.
“As October 2015 came around, the word had spread within the company and by that time all of our districts were asking to join in on the cause” states Brett Coil, Director of Operations. So once again, Ulterra started painting their iconic teal bits pink, this time for the entire U.S.
As the year went along, Ulterra knew how important it was to continue to raise awareness for breast cancer. Starting on October 1st of this year, their teal drill bits that came out of their Fort Worth facilities were painted pink for the entire U.S. until the month’s end. Ulterra also thought that is was vital to become more involved with Saving True Pairs. For the last 3 years Ulterra has sponsored lunch at Pink the Basin’s annual clay shoot, but this year they took a big step forward and donated $25,000, which will help pay for over 100 mammograms. This year at the 5th Annual Saving True Pairs – One Mammogram at a Time Clay Shoot the organization raised over $100,000 due to the generous support of their sponsors and supporters.
Ulterra chose to partner with Saving True Pairs since it is a local organization where their movement started. They backed up their commitment to raising awareness by not only painting their bits the iconic pink, but by making a substantial financial contribution to the cause. Stark continued, “To us, the oilfield is family, and that is where we want our money and support to go.” Saving True Pairs seems like the perfect fit to accomplish that goal.
The rest of the oilfield seems to agree. According to Brittany McPherson who oversees Ulterra’s social media, “The outpouring of support has been amazing. Rig crews are stopping to pose with the bits on the rig floor and sharing them with us. Posts of these pictures are going viral in the oilfield.” Since this idea started 3 years ago it has continued to expand every year.
“To see and feel the sense of pride that not only our employees have in spreading the awareness of such an important cause, but the enthusiasm from our customers in doing the same is very rewarding. Having the ability to help give back to one of our own, as well as the tight knit oilfield community, is truly humbling.” says John Clunan, Ulterra’s President. John, however, goes on to say, “At the end of the day we’re excited and willing to help, and we look forward to continuing our efforts into the future.”