Citizens join forces to help firefighters outfit rescue truck

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 9, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Donna Perry, President of Citizens Academy Alumni of Suffolk (CAAS), is well-known for her dedication to the people of Suffolk. Recently, she enlisted the help of her fianc, Chuck Fisher, and Suffolk City Councilman Bobby Ralph to construct a wheelchair ramp and deck for a disabled woman in Burnett’s Mill. Now, she’s enlisted the help of a local businesswoman and her Navy husband to assist firefighters.

Cindy and Jay Clark, owners of Suffolk Auction on Saratoga Street, have joined Perry and friends to help generate funds to purchase equipment to outfit, Squad I, a rescue truck used by Suffolk Firefighters. The rescue vehicle was recently acquired through the city; however, it must now be outfitted with everything from Band-aids to the $8,000 air bags to lift vehicles at accident sites.

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Clark’s business logo reads &uot;Have Gavel-Will Travel,&uot; and it seems that since she started the business, Uncle Sam has made sure that’s just what her husband has done. He currently serves in Bahrain, where he’s been since the Navy sent him there just before the onset of &uot;Operation Iraqi Freedom.&uot; He was set to retire a year before all that, however, like the dedicated seaman he is, Clark &uot;re-upped&uot; with the Navy for the Bahrain tour. Now, he’s set to come home, but if he thinks he’s retiring, he’s in for a surprise.

&uot;I’m going to get him involved in this project to raise funds for outfitting the rescue truck,&uot; said Cindy Clark. &uot;He’s going to take a position at Oceana, also, but in his spare time, he can help us with the fund raiser.&uot;

Perry and Clark are actively seeking help with their latest fund raising project and as the auctioneer for her business; Clark is planning to hold special events in which money from auctioned items will go toward this project.

&uot;I already have a &uot;Hoosier&uot; cabinet, like the old time cabinets with the flour bins and sifter and the pull-out enamel counter, along with many other items,&uot; said Clark. &uot;It’s out of a home from which I purchased items. Whatever it brings at auction will all be given toward outfitting the rescue truck.&uot;

Clark said that any person, business, civic or church group or others who would like to donate items to be auctioned, may do so by dropping them off at Suffolk Auction Sales, located at 143 S. Saratoga St., or call 934-6883. Donors may also contact Public Educator Pam King at the Suffolk Fire Department at 923-2573. Make checks payable to the &uot;Jeffrey T. Messinger Fund.&uot; All proceeds will go to outfitting Rescue I.

With help from Oxford United Methodist Church, Perry was able to raise money to purchase of a Glassmaster. It cost $159, however, as she noted it will take much more than that to outfit the rescue vehicle. Now, she has challenged other churches to join in support of the Rescue I fundraiser.

Perry, named the Suffolk News Herald’s &uot;Citizen of the Year,&uot; is also donating the $250 she was awarded to the Rescue I fund.