Polk Township Volunteer Fire Company invited two special guests to its appreciation banquet and awards night held Jan. 23.

They were Nate Sawyer who fixes the fire trucks and Alan Eckhart who takes care of refrigeration problems, said Matt Schessler, vice president of the company. "Nate is here at the drop of a hat. They both go above and beyond."

Glenn Simmons gave the blessing thanking God for the opportunity to come together, for all the volunteers and for the support from the community. He asked for a special blessing for those suffering from disaster.

There were 104 members of the company, auxiliary and their families in attendance.

President Dan Bartholomew said the golf tournament and 400 club had been successful as usual because of all the hard work put into them.

Polk was able to buy a utility truck from KME in 2009.

The buildings and grounds people fixed the roof and Eckhart came in and solved a problem with the refrigeration.

Rich Cherry of Cherry's Restaurant, Kresgeville, was in charge of the kitchen for the night so the firemen and auxiliary members could enjoy their special evening.

The executive officers for 2010 are Dan Bartholmew, president; Matt Schessler, vice president; Billy Tippett, secretary; Ken Hawk, treasurer; and directors Rich Beck, Bill Thompson, Bill Tippett Sr., Aaron Keller, Christian Lenway, Rob Lopez and Rick Scherer.

Fire chief Terry Jacoby was beginning his second year. The first year taught him an appreciation of the work required. "I have my first year in. For all you past chiefs, I have a great deal of respect. It is difficult, a lot of work, but I had good people helping me. We made some strides. I learned to delegate more work to the officers. It's hard and you have to trust them.

"I want to thank you. It's very, very dedicated work. You are here every Monday (for drills). For special events you're here." He has heard people from other companies say their group does not turn out.

"We do drills and it makes me proud when I can say 'my guys are here.' My wife puts up with a lot," said Jacoby.

He said the utility truck was pretty basic but it is a truck the company can be proud of.

His officers are Jacoby, chief; Rich Beck, first assistant chief; Billy Tippett, second assistant chief; Aaron Keller, captain; Dan Bartholomew, captain; Bill Thompson, lieutenant, Matt Schessler, lieutenant; Christian Lenway, lieutenant; Rick Scherer, engineer; Chris Overpeck, assistant engineer and safety officers Bill Tippett, Bernie Shea and Ed Arnold.

Jacoby said Lenway had been assistant engineer last year. He needs a big round of applause for taking care of the trucks, which he received.

Alice Harner, president of the ladies' auxiliary, presented a check for $15,200 to Bartholomew. It brought the total for the year to $40,000.

She said there were 14 fundraising events held at the fire company in addition to the breakfasts and bingos.

At the January breakfast the auxiliary served 456 breakfasts but the number has been as high as 700. She thanked the girls, women and men who helped.

Auxiliary officers are Harner, president; Edna Schoenberger, vice president; Melody Schessler, treasurer, Sue Shoemaker, secretary and Vicky Serfass, corresponding secretary. Booking events is done by Dottie Kreger, organizing waitresses is taken care of by Alverta Hessiam and Blanche Strausberger takes care of ordering.

Hessiam said, "We have such a good group here. When we do the breakfasts there are 15 men in the kitchen helping."

Bartholomew said the fire company is in its 40th year and the long-time members worked hard to build something and still help it along.

Honored were Ed Arnold, Ken Hawk, Clarence Hawk and Mitch Kreger.

Glenn Simmons is the company chaplain but is moving out of the area after 35 years with the fire company. He was asked to make a speech.

"It's been a joy and a privilege. It's hard to believe it's been 35 years. We've been able to accomplish a lot," he said.

There was a special award for Chief Jacoby. Bartholomew said when Jacoby went to a call he left the truck running and it ran out of gas. As he accepted a gas-can award, he said, "They forgot to tell you they siphoned the gas from the truck to keep the generator running."

Dave Gasker, who provided music for dancing, said when he thinks of volunteers, he thinks of Polk.