Firefighters raise funds for colleagues |

Firefighters raise funds for colleagues

Gregory Crofton

South Shore firefighters raised $158,000 over the weekend for their fallen brothers in New York City.

“Before noon on Friday we had collected $10,000 at one location. We were astounded to say the least,” said South Lake Tahoe Fire Division Chief Michael Chandler. “To be quite honest with you, we started worrying about security. But we found someone who had a safe to lock it up. We expected to put together a couple of thousand if we were lucky. I can’t tell you how much I’d like to thank the South Shore community on behalf of those folks back east.”

South Lake Tahoe Fire and Lake Valley Fire Protection District raised $123,000 of the money from donation stations they set up at Raley’s at the “Y,” Safeway at Bijou and in Meyers at the corner of U.S. Highway 50 and Pioneer Trail. The station in Meyers drew so many people Friday and Saturday that Lake Valley complied with a request from California Highway Patrol to not collect on Sunday, when traffic heading out of town normally becomes congested.

The Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District gathered $35,000 at donation stations they set up at Safeway at Round Hill and Stateline.

“People really wanted to be able to do something for the families, there was no hesitation on anybody’s part,” said Assistant Chief Bruce Van Cleemput. “It was really overwhelming to see the unity we saw in these drives. A lot of people were giving money and they didn’t have money themselves.”

The giving doesn’t have to stop. Chandler said an account has been set up at El Dorado Savings Bank and any branch in town will accept donations for the New York City Firefighters 911 Relief Fund.

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department is accepting donations for the families of fallen policemen in a collection jar set up on its front counter.

Donations to the American Red Cross can be sent to the South Lake Tahoe Disaster Unit, P.O. Box 11137, Tahoe Paradise, CA 96155.

The Bargain Box Thrift, at 2314 Lake Tahoe Blvd., is also collecting for the Red Cross. Owner Tina Gardner said she will have a poster in her window and a jar on her counter.

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