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Support is ablaze for Smithsburg fire company

July 19, 2005|by Alicia Notarianni

alician@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - Pat Higman's dad, Bud Bushey, joined the Smithsburg Volunteer Fire Co. when he was 16 years old. He was the last surviving charter member of the company before he died in 2002.

Higman, 69, of Smithsburg, said the charter group bought the company's first fire truck. She remembers sitting with her dad as he called bingo to help raise money for the company in 1940, when she was 5 years old.

Today, Pat Higman is treasurer of the Smithsburg Volunteer Fire Co. Ladies Auxiliary.

Auxiliary members said it's customary to carry out whatever work is necessary to support the company. And there's no generation gap among the contributors.

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That was evident Saturday, July 16, during an all-you-can-eat slippery potpie supper at the Smithsburg Volunteer Fire Company hall.

Pat Smith, 64, of Smithsburg, remembers when she was a girl and her mom was president of the women's auxiliary, her dad was president of the company, and her grandparents were members. Her parents would give her a quarter to spend the week of the company carnival. When her 25 cents were spent, she would curl up and sleep in the back seat of her family's car.

Now Pat Smith is vice president of the auxiliary. Her father is the elder member of the company, heading four generations of active company members.

Her husband, Fred Smith, 65, grew up in the company, too.

"That was our life. That was what you heard - family, then the fire company," Fred Smith said.

Auxiliary member Martha Wolfe, 58, of Smithsburg, said, "If I need a firetruck to come to my house, they're gonna come help me. We need to help them get the firetrucks."

Pat Smith agreed. "We're here to help the guys in the fire company," she said.

Lorraine "Kitty" Baker, 73, of Smithsburg, is the president of the women's auxiliary. Baker said the group usually holds potpie suppers during the winter months but decided to hold an extra one to coincide with Smithsburg Pride Days last weekend.

Pat Higman said she expected the supper to bring in about $500. Higman said the auxiliary is trying to raise money for a new freezer at the fire hall to use for future fundraisers.

Henry Vidal, 28, of Smithsburg, a member of the fire company, is serving in the U.S. military in Iraq. His wife, Michelle Vidal, offered her support to the company by attending the supper with her mother, sister, niece and her two children, Ally, 6, and Gabriel, 3.

Andrea Garnand, 37, of Smithsburg, is an administrative member of the fire company who helped with Saturday's supper. Her husband, Daniel Garnand, 44, is a firefighter, and her son Mark, 16, plans to sign on as a junior member of the company.

"We're starting another generation of firefighters," Andrea Garnand said.

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