HOMER — Hundreds of people from the community gathered Saturday evening for an old-fashioned dinner held by the Homer Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary at the Homer Fire Department. Although most women’s auxiliaries have faded away, the members of the Homer group said they remain committed to their group and the firefighters they work to assist.
”We do this because we care about our community, and we care about our husbands, sons and our fire department, and want to see that they get what they need,” said auxiliary member MIchelle King. King’s husband, Randy, is chief of the department, and her son, Tom, serves as a lieutenant.
”My husband has been on this department 18 years, and my son about five or six,” King explained. “We’re second generation, and actually my dad was on the department years ago and my mom was in the auxiliary. So for me it’s just something we’ve always done.”
Family ties on the Homer FD are common. Auxiliary president Marcina Bash, who serves the department as an EMT, is married to assistant chief Alan Bash. Marcina said the department is an important part of her life and that of her husband. Both said they appreciate the enthusiastic support of the community for events such as Saturday’s fundraiser.
“One thing about this community is they back us in everything we do,” Alan said. “They’re always there for us.”
Over 300 people came out to the dinner, which was available for a donation. The auxiliary members make the noodles from scratch at the firehouse, and serve them with beef, green beans, applesauce, rolls and homemade pies donated by community members.
Bob Rowe lives in the Homer fire district, and said he and fiancee Daniela Vaughan and her 4-year-old daughter, Sara, enjoy coming to the dinner.
“We come to support the community and it’s always nice to have a good meal and see friends,” Rowe said.
Sara said the rolls were her favorite part of the meal, but she likes the pie, too.
Doug and Melanie Rinehart attended with their son, Doug Jr.
“This is the first year we’ve made it,” said Doug Sr.
“It’s wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” said Melanie, who said she purchased bags of the homemade noodles to take home. “Everybody ought to come to this,” she said.
“Best food in the city of Homer,” said John Tulloss, about whom Chief King said never misses the annual event.
“I like to support the fire department,” said Tulloss, adding that people don’t know when they may need the department.
A 50/50 raffle and restaurant gift card raffle were held to raise additional funds. When Phil Love found he had won the 50/50, he donated his winnings back to the fire department.
The Homer FD has 29 members, the auxiliary has nine. Most of the department members came to help with preparations for the dinner, and to meet the members of the community.
The money raised is used to buy pagers and other electronic equipment the firefighters need, said Chief King. He said the large attendance Saturday evening did not surprise him.
“The support we have from the public down here is just phenomenal,” he said.