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Firefighter fund-raiser a success

Staff writer

Marion County Fire Chief Association determined that Sunday’s event was a success with nearly 1,000 people attending the evening concert at Marion County Lake.

Hillsboro Fire Department hosted the event with Rusty Moss coordinating the event and fire chief Ben Steketee serving as incident commander.

Children enjoyed numerous games and activities Sunday afternoon, some related to water and fire hoses, others were a climbing wall, moon walk, obstacle course, and dunking tank.

Firefighters representing all of the volunteer departments throughout the county assisted with the event. A pumper truck sprayed water from a larger hose over swimmers in a portion of the swimming area.

By early evening, people were coming for a meal of barbecued pork.

Area band, Justus, began playing at 6 p.m., followed by country music singer Candy Coburn.

“Candy Coburn did a fantastic job. She is an outstanding performer,” Steketee said. “Justus also was excellent.”

The chief said the organization was a little disappointed with the size of the crowd at the event but knows it takes time for an event like this to grow.

Fireworks followed the concert, lighting the sky.

At press-time on Tuesday, a total dollar amount was not available but Steketee was sure it was a success.

Funds will be used toward the development of a training center for the county volunteer firefighters. Steketee said a manufactured fire training building could cost as much as $100,000.

Committees were formed to assist with the event. Ashley Sheridan of Lehigh Fire Department was in charge of scheduling workers, Lester Kaiser of Lincolnville Fire Department handled operations, and Steve Rose of Peabody Fire Department was the logistics chief.

“Everyone stepped up and did a fantastic job,” Steketee said. “We are pleased with the results.”

There were no calls for the departments on Sunday, which is another milestone.

The firefighters presented a plaque to sponsor and supporter Jim Cloutier as a sign of appreciation. Cloutier made it clear that this event wasn’t about him.

“I don’t do it for this,” Cloutier said, referring to the award and accolades. “I do it for all of you (gesturing to the firefighters).”

Last modified Sept. 3, 2008

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