Small games of chance have netted five fire companies and a police department in the Lehighton area a combined total of $34,000.

The funds were distributed by Lehigh Fire Company No. 1, Lehighton.

Bernie Mieczkowski, president of Lehigh Fire Company No. 1, stressed that the nonprofit group is separate from the Lehighton Fire Department. The fire department is the unit which responds to emergencies such as fires, rescues, and traffic accidents.

The Lehighton Fire Department got the biggest piece of the pie; a total of $15,000 to be applied to its truck fund.

Other recipients are:

Ÿ Lehighton Police Department $5,000.

Ÿ Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company $5,000.

Ÿ Mahoning Valley Volunteer Fire Company $5,000.

Ÿ Parryville Volunteer Fire Company $2,000.

Ÿ East Penn Volunteer Fire Company $2,000.

"We, being the social club and not the fire company, can give out the money," Mieczkowski said regarding the funds raised from small games of chance.

He said Lehigh Fire Company No. 1 has members from each of the communities who were recipients of the funds

"They're the ones who don't have a social hall," he added.

Mieczkowski said that the decision was made to make the contributions because, "Members of these groups train hard. They go whether the weather is bad or good."

He said all have large expenses, especially with the price of fuel.

Mahoning Fire Chief Mark Ebbert indicated the timing for the funds is perfect, considering that the oil burner of the fire company died and must be replaced.

"On behalf of all the fire companies we thank you," said Bruce Wolfe, chief of Franklin Township Fire Company. "This will go a long way."