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Children's Village gets $40,000 contribution

October 10, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - A $40,000 contribution to Children's Village of Washington County on Monday was one of the largest in its history.

According to Mike Weller, a member of Local 1605 representing career firefighters of Hagerstown, the money will underwrite an entire year of fire safety instruction at the village.

"The union set up a nonprofit foundation earlier this year because the members wanted to increase their philanthropic contributions," Weller said.

The money to launch the foundation came from the union's Bonanza Extravaganza in May, Weller said.

"We were also able to make significant contributions to the volunteer fire companies whose members helped with the Bonanza," Weller said.

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Local 1605 plans to make the Bonanza an annual event.

Weller, Hagerstown Fire Department's fire prevention officer, welcomed most of the membership of Local 1605 to Children's Village at 1546 Mount Aetna Road for the presentation.

Among those in attendance were Hagerstown Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker, Washington County Sheriff Charles F. Mades, Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith, Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II, Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan, Del. John P. Donoghue, D-Washington, Children's Village Executive Director Rochelle Morrell and board President Linda Irvin-Craig.

"We have a focus from the foundation on fire safety," Weller said. "When the community is safe, firefighters are safe, too."

The single largest past contribution came from An Evening With Nick and was earmarked for capital improvements, Weller said.

Established in 1991, Children's Village of Washington County is a not-for-profit safety education organization for Washington County elementary school children.

From the start, members of Local 1605 have been instrumental in the development and success of the fire safety curriculum.

While not a part of Washington County Public Schools, Children's Village receives bus transportation and curriculum support.

Other financial support comes from grants, private donations, foundations, contributions from Washington County government and the Gaming Commission. Several grants are tied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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