Washington County Emergency Medical Services, Chipley Fire Department, Northwest Florida Community Hospital and Washington County employees came together in an effort to raise money for underprivileged children in a ‘Toys For Tots’ fundraiser on Thursday, November 29, and by all accounts, the effort was a huge success.
‘We started cooking on Thursday and some of my people actually stayed all night long’, commented Randy Truett, Washington County EMS Director, ‘and we have not been able to slow down since we started serving today. We had a lot of preorders for deliveries, but almost three times that many people showed up to buy lunch’.
The plan was to smoke and serve Boston butts and barbeque sandwich plates, with the resulting revenues going to purchase presents for a number of children currently under foster care or protective service conditions with the Department of Children and Families and Anchorage Children’s Home.
‘These kids will simply not have a Christmas unless someone steps up,’ says Truett, ‘and we had an outpouring of money and labor to make this happen. We did this regularly in the past and it sort of went away but this year Seamus O’Neil and a few others decided to not only get it back on track, but to kick it up a notch’.
And kick it up a notch they did as the event, which took place next to One South Bank on Main Street in Chipley had the appearance of an emergency exercise, with fire trucks, ambulances and city vehicles parked en masse on the grounds, surrounded by feverish activity.
In an interview with ‘Real Florida TV’ Truett commended not only those agencies involved but also the community at large.
‘A lot of folks have helped to sell and to promote this event and we appreciate that. We have about 30 children for whom we will be providing a good Christmas- some of the most needy in the county- and this is what Christmas is all about’.