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Summit Hill fire department honors volunteers

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    Summit Hill Fire Chief Shawn Hoben, left, introduces 2019 fire department award recipients. They are, from left, Paige Goida and Adalyn Hontz, both 9, “Volunteer of the Year” award winners; Sherri Buzik, the Paul Paulky Yuricheck “Firefighter of the Year” recipient; and back, Ed Nunemacher, who is Buzik’s father. The awards were presented Saturday at a dinner event held in the Hilltop Community Center. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published December 17. 2019 12:47PM

Two fourth-grade girls and a member of the fire police were given the top awards by the Diligence Fire Company in Summit Hill at its annual awards Christmas party.

The girls, Paige Goida and Adalyn Hontz, both 9, each received the “Volunteer of the Year” plaque by the fire company.

Sherri Buzik, who was influenced by her father to get involved in the fire company, was the recipient of the Paul “Paulky” Yuricheck “Firefighter of the Year” award.

Nearly 100 people attended the program held at the Hilltop Community Center, which is adjacent to the fire company.

One other award presented was the “Friend of the Fire Company” plaque to Hope Collision Center of Tamaqua.

The awards were presented by Fire Chief Shawn Hoben and fire company officers.

Volunteers of The Year

Goida and Hontz got the award for holding a bake sale in June for the fire company.

They baked items themselves, sold them, and raised $760. A relative of one of the girls doubled that amount with another $760 donation, bringing the total donation to $1,520.

The sale was scheduled for four hours, but the girls ran out of baked goods in less than an hour.

It was Goida’s idea for the sale. She became inspired after, on the afternoon of May 18, she witnessed the firefighters in action.

She was on Chestnut Street when the fire siren sounded. Down an alley from where she was, she saw a garage filled with flames and smoke.

She said she saw the firetrucks drive to the scene and watched as the volunteers quickly extinguished the blaze, preventing it from spreading.

Goida is the daughter of Casey and Thomas Goida. Casey said at the time that when she returned home after witnessing the firefighting event, she told her parents about it and said she wanted to do something to show her admiration and appreciation.

She came up with the idea for the bake sale.

Her friend, Adalyn, wanted to help.

Both girls are honor roll students at the Panther Valley Intermediate School.

Hoben said, “It’s pretty neat that the younger generation is stepping up to volunteer.”

He said he found it “impressive” what the girls did and appreciated their assistance.

Firefighter of The Year

Buzik has been helping at the fire company for over 10 years. She said her father, longtime member and former president Ed Nunemacher, got her involved.

“He’s my inspiration,” she said.

Hoben said Buzik is not only very active with the fire police and responds to many calls, she also is secretary of the fire company and its relief committee, is a member of the fundraising committee and helps Hoben with his compilation of incident reports that he sends to the state.

The award is named after the late Paul Yuricheck, who was active in the fire department for nearly 50 years until his death in 2016.

He conducted annual fund drives for the fire company, was the fire company’s longtime historian and was active in other ways.

Hoben said Buzik is a perfect example of the type of individual for which the award was named.

He said she spends many hours working on behalf of the fire company.

“We average about 150 calls per year,” he said. “She does the incident reports, which take time to complete. We’re lucky to have her.”

“She’s always doing the book work or helping with the fire police,” the chief said.

Hope’s Collision Center was given the award for helping the fire company when one of its trucks broke down in Lansford. Hope towed the piece of apparatus back to Summit Hill without charge.

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