Fire truck to be shown on Whaleyville Community Day

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 7, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Just in time for exhibition on &uot;Whaleyville Community Day,&uot; May 8, the town’s Volunteer Fire Department took delivery of a completely refurbished 1994 Kenworth tanker truck.

Fire Chief Charles Brothers of the fire department said the community owes a great deal of appreciation to the men who provided a considerable amount of time, talent and material in preparing the truck to go back into service.

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&uot;Leck Lawrence III and Garland &uot;Boo-Boo&uot; Cherry did all the work and put the tanker in near mint condition,&uot; said Brothers. &uot;They received the cab and chassis from a dealer in Charlotte, N.C., and they kept it about 50 days and it’s like new. Then we took the tanker to Wynn Fire & Rescue in Corbin, Ky., and they installed the tank, pump and emergency lights and siren.&uot;

Lawrence said he &uot;almost didn’t take on the massive job of refurbishing the tanker,&uot; but it was his wife, Lenee, who advised him that one day that tanker could save the life of a child. That did it – the Lawrences have two children of their own to consider, Cheyenne and Teddy, and Lawrence admits, he &uot;loves kids.&uot;

Tanker #8 is decked out in glistening fire engine red paint with shiny gold lettering and its now in service for the Whaleyville community. It will be on display at the fire station all day May 8.

The Whaleyville Ruritan Club initiated the Community Day event with two of its members, Jeff Colley and Dean Russell, serving as co-chairmen of the event.

The project has taken off and has turned into a major event with the Department of Parks and Recreation for the City of Suffolk even getting involved. They are doing a major clean-up around the Whaleyville Community Center and they have even put in new horseshoe pits and sidewalks around the center. Parks and Rec Director Lakita Frazier has heavily involved the department in assisting the Ruritans and other citizens in preparation for the Community Day.

William Kelly, a recreation specialist with Parks and Rec. serves as a liaison to the Whaleyville Ruritans and they coordinated with the Whaleyville &uot;Initiative Team&uot; to get the new sidewalks laid just in time for the event.

&uot;Parks and Rec are partnering with us to provide facilities, and run interference with permits, and doing some printing of our flyers and applications,&uot; said Colley.

&uot;The Ruritans have worked hard on the organization, planning and knocking on doors to get every Whaleyville resident involved in the Community Day. That has been the work of the Whaleyville Ruritan Club.&uot;

Colley and Russell, with the help of the Ruritan Club, have organized and events that will have something for people of all ages and they’ve even included a part for the pets.

&uot;First of all, any and all friendly dogs are welcome if they have current vaccinations, and they must remain on a leash at all times,&uot; said Colley. &uot;There will be a $5 fee to enter your dog into each of the dog show contests which includes the Best Looking, Ugliest, Smartest and Dumbest dogs. In addition, we are going to have a dog weight pulling demonstration by Debbie Lee, who owns a St. Bernard who pulled 5,300 pounds last month in an IWPA competition. That should be a great exhibition!&uot;

Another attraction sure to please auto aficionados is a Car Show featuring a fairly famous vehicle, the Hudson Commodore from the movie, &uot;Driving Miss Daisy.&uot; Those who would like to put their vehicle into the show are invited to do so by registering and paying the $15 entry fee.

Trophies will be awarded to top five placed cars in each of five categories including the Best Ford, the Best GM, the Best Chrysler, the Best Truck and Best Other. Dash plaques will be given to first 100 cars entered into show

Children activities are front and center and will include many kiddie rides including pony rides, a Ferris wheel, a moonwalk, a slide and a train ride. There will also be a puppet show and many games for the children to play.

A special Business Expo will highlight local businesses on site and any business interested in taking part in the Community Day should call Colley at 757-986-2282, or e-mail him at

As for entertainment, there will be lots of that with local bands and choirs featured all day long.

No festival is complete without food and May 8 is the day when Whaleyville’s kitchens and vendors galore will open to serve a variety of items including hot dogs and hamburgers throughout the day.

The Whaleyville Volunteer Fire Department will serve up deep fried fish in the area for only $6 per plate, eat-in or take out. Each meal is complete with condiments.