Nov. 15, 2012 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Firefighters spend their careers saving others from danger and peril. Every day, they respond to fires and medical emergencies, tending to the welfare of others, as part of their job.
The Plymouth firefighters have taken that responsibility even further, however, and are actively working and dedicating their time to helping the Plymouth Salvation Army and the less fortunate in the community.
Three years ago Firefighters Pat Conely and Dan Atkins learned the local chapter of the Salvation Army was having a difficult time providing the necessary support during the severe economic downturn, and were short of donations and turkeys. At the time, the Salvation Army was short at least 40 turkeys needed to help families in need during the holidays.
The two veterans from Local 1496 at the Plymouth Community Fire Department, decided it was time to step up and help, which was the beginning of the annual Turkey Drive. That first year they raised enough money to purchase 48 turkeys, Conely said.
With the cooperation of a local Kroger store, team members set up plastic turkey decoys outside the store doors to attract attention.
“But, instead of ringing the bell, we use a turkey gobble call. The kids love it and so do the adults,” Atkins said.
Last year the team was able to purchase 51 turkeys with the funds collected. This year they hope to better that number and to date have collected nearly $1,000.
Atkins said the people of Plymouth are very receptive and generous. “We just can’t thank them enough. And with Kroger, they’re so helpful, without them we never would be able to raise the amount of money we do.”
Last Saturday, the volunteer team of firefighters purchased 45 turkeys from Kroger’s and made a formal presentation to the Plymouth Salvation Army Corps, to ensure that less-fortunate families have them in time for the holiday.