The Warrenton Fire Department and Warrenton Firefighter Association has celebrated their 36th year for the Warrenton Food Drive and for the last 5 years Captain Chris Penno has been the Warrenton Fire Department Food Drive Chairman.
This year was another successful year and with many to thank going out to those who donated. Food barrels and cash cans were put out in various Warrenton businesses. The 1st of December, donation bags were hung on house doors and volunteers picked returned the nest week to pick up the bags full of generous goodies.
All the food collected was separated out by the fire dept workers and volunteers such as, Teresa and Bruce Turner and LeRoy Smith. Cars line up on a Wednesday (drill night) a week before Christmas to be loaded up with boxes of foods, which included turkey or chicken, eggs, bread, potatoes, oranges, etc.
The Food Drive was started by Rod Mullins and Skip Moore in 1982-83 to help the underprivileged children at the Warrenton Grade School. From there it became a community event.
At one time, Warrenton had two fire stations, Hammond and Warrenton. Prior to merging in 1991, Hammond Fire Captain John Shephard and his Hammond crew would help with deliveries of food and gifts.
Ted Ames joined the Warrenton department as volunteer in 1983 and took over as Chief in 1997. Under his leadership the food drive continued to grow and had as many as 130 to 140 deliveries. At one point it got so big that in 2006 instead of deliveries there was an option for pickup or delivery.
Chief Demers has overseen the tradition for the last 6 years. During his lead, they names were obtained through the county assistance program, but when the list was no longer available, they then relied on the grade school for a list of recipients. The process requires residents come to the station to fill out an application. Chief Tim Demers says, “It is hard to reach the people in need without those lists.”
Volunteer Firefighter Scott Watson, has a favorite fond memory of the food drive. In 2008 it had snowed about 6, after each delivery the crew would have a snowball fight.
Chief Demers, Captain Chris Penno and the Warrenton Firefighter Association in conjunction with the Warrenton Fire Department would like to express our most sincere thanks to the following:
Bornstein’s Seafood Warrenton High School Grade School Home Depot Hampton Mill Main Street Market Business’ that allowed donation barrels Warrenton Christian for the Christmas Bears For all the Boy Scouts and volunteers that came to help To all those that donated food
Thank You to All and Happy New Year!!