Fire Fest chairman Lee Clark (left) gives a plaque and check to Southeastern Firefighters' Burn Foundation Executive Director Charles DeVaney on Wednesday at the Columbia County Rotary Club meeting.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
Money collected at last October's Fire Fest was distributed to Columbia County fire departments and charities at a Rotary Club breakfast meeting Wednesday.
The Columbia County Rotary Club raised $17,075 from sponsors and event activities at last year's Fire Fest - an annual festival to increase fire safety awareness.
The festival's primary sponsors were AB Beverage Co., Club Car, Procter & Gamble, Prayon Inc., Wal-Mart and First National Bank.
Much of the money was given back to organizations that fight fires or assist burn victims.
Although no specific amounts were disclosed, Rotary members said the Southeastern Firefighters' Burn Foundation received the largest portion of the funds.
The foundation primarily provides housing and meals to visiting families of burn patients at Doctors Hospital's Joseph M. Still Burn Center.
"Last year, our volunteers delivered 12,000 meals to more than 600 people staying here to visit burn victims, and we gave Christmas gifts to kids that are patients," said Charles DeVaney, the burn foundation's executive director, while holding up the check he accepted. "This helps so much to further our mission."
The 28-member Rotary Club meets weekly and often holds fund-raising events for local nonprofit groups. Its motto is, "Service above self."
"We're a small club, but we can do big things when we work together," said Rotary member Lee Clark, chairman of the Fire Fest and senior vice president of First National Bank. "This is not an easy event to put on, but it's a worthwhile one that helps a lot of people, and that's what is important."
Nonprofit groups receiving funds raised at Fire Fest:
Martinez Fire Department
Appling Fire Department
Grovetown Department of Public Safety
Leah Fire Department
Harlem Fire Department
Columbia County Sheriff's Office
Marshall Family Y
Southeastern Firefighters' Burn Foundation
Interact Club of Greenbrier High School
Youth Challenge Academy
Boy Scout Troop 15
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