The Polk Township Fire Company, founded in 1969, held an appreciation banquet on Jan. 28. It was catered by Cherry's Restaurant, Kresgeville.
Matt Schessler, outgoing president, thanked his wife Melody for standing by him when he was so often at the firehouse, Bill Thompson as his vice president and Billy Tippett who was his secretary.
"They did a great job. We have some new personnel in important places," he said.
Linda Kile, who runs the bingo games, earned $37,000 for the company. Two dances sponsored by the special events committee brought in another $5,000. Coin tosses were held on race weekends. "Everything we get here we work for," he said.
Schessler said everyone worked on the trucks for two weeks before the Labor Day parade where the tanker placed second in the best-appearing category. It was a rainy day but that did not spoil the fun.
A generator was purchased with a state grant. With it up and running the firehouse is now a disaster relief station.
"I'm stepping down as president. I appreciate everything you did for me. It's a night to recognize milestones you can look back on when you're 80," he concluded. Bill Smith is the new president.
Candy Burger and her husband Rusty received clocks to symbolize the time they put in with the company - 25 years.
The Jacoby Award was presented to Barry Borger. It was named for Terry Jacoby and goes to someone who made a mistake. Borger, a former chief, backed his wrecker into a fire rescue truck. As he accepted the fender skirt that was knocked off, he said, "Really and truly, the fire truck was in my way."
Jacoby, the outgoing chief, wanted to say a few words to the guys who supported him. "We had some good times through the three years."
The new chief is Christian Lenway. "We have some people here who founded this department. Some things I want to do are improve communications, train to meet state qualifications and look toward replacing some equipment.
Other new line officers are Billy Tippett, assistant chief; Aaron Keller, second assistant chief; Matt Schessler, captain and Chris Overpeck, lieutenant. The three safety officers are Terry Jacoby, Ricky Scherer and Rich Beck.
Lenway recognized the Polk Township supervisors who were all in attendance. Supervisor Nancy May helped them get a grant from the township and she swore in the fire police.
Eddie Arnold, one of the fire police, was credited with starting the company.
There is a 16-hour training course for the fire police, who are responsible to the township and responsible for the scene at a fire until state police arrive. They also do traffic control. "You'd be surprised what some people will do when a road is closed," said Lenway.
Smith asked for a round of applause for Schessler. Other new officers are Candy Burger, vice president, Billy Tippet, secretary and Kenny Hawk, treasurer. The directors are: Rich Beck, Aaron Keller, Bernie Shea, Terry Jacoby, Rick Scherer, Linda Kile and Chris Overpeck.
Lenway said there would be an open-door policy and residents are welcome to discuss problems with any of the officers.
Auxiliary officers are: Edna Schoenberger, president; Shirley Haydt, vice president; Sue Shoemaker, secretary; Melody Schessler, treasurer; Dottie Kreger, bookings; Vickie Serfass, correspondence and Blanche Strausberger, ordering. The waitresses were recognized but more are always needed, said Haydt.
Schoenberger presented a check for $14,200 to Bill Smith. It brought the total for the year to $32,000.
Chelsea Archer had prepared a PowerPoint presentation of the events of the past year.