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Pine grove news: Firefighters honored for service, dedication

The Pine Grove Fire Department Awards dinner was held Feb. 9 at the Hood River Inn in the River View room. It was a nice change of pace from several years of having it at the fire station.

Thank-you to John Stehlik for the nice change of pace! Also a thank-you to the Hood River Inn; the prime rib was tasty as was the entire meal, and the service was great.

Our department president, Ryan Dethman, began with a welcome and an introduction of the present officers for the department: Vice-President John Stehlik and his wife, Merridy, Secretary Brent Goe, Treasurer Jon Laraway and his wife, Debra.

Odell Fire Department Chaplain Rick Walker gave an invocation before our meal. After our meal Chief Greg Borton gave introductions of guests and honorary department members.

Current board members present were Eric Cederstam with Tammy Hall, Dan and Cindy Sheppard and Janet and Leonard Wood.

We also took a moment to give honor to two fire department members both deceased last year: Tony Medearis and the last surviving charter fire department member, Bill Laraway.

Honorary members present were Zella Laraway, Kent Lambert, Larry and Dianne Hayes, Jesse and Kathy Rice and Janet and Leonard Wood.

Greg stated that the department currently has 115 service years. Greg introduced his officers for 2013-14:

Assistant Chief Jim Wells; captains Lee Lage and Joe Long, Captain and Safety Officer Jon Laraway, Lieutenant Captain John Stehlik.

A 37-year service pin went to Pat Moore, who also just retired from the department. As Pat wrote our program for the auction finances he will hopefully come to the next couple of auctions till the rest of us get on board with the program!

A service pin went to Robert Huwe but he has moved out of the district and will receive it at another time.

I would also like to re-honor Joe Long for his 30-year service pin he was awarded last year but I inadvertently left out of my column.

Ten-year pins went to Mike Frahm, Dean Kinne and Tom Sieverkropp. Dean Kinney also spent many hours in the Odell Fire District.

A 35-year pin went to our Chief Greg Borton and a 45-year pin to Mike Goe. Mike spoke briefly about service for our community; how we stay together, work together and serve together for our community, family and our neighbors.

Mike is very proud that his grandson, Brent Goe, is following in the family service as fourth-generation volunteer firefighter in our department!

Brent Goe also will receive the Fire Fighter of the Year award this year.

Two years ago our district and Odell’s were combined and the area is now Wy’East District. Pine Grove Fire Department will still have its annual get-together as will the Odell Department, but drills and fire and EMS calls are now toned out for both of our fire districts together.

LAST but not least, last year’s Hot Line Award winner John Stehlik gave us a brief history of the miscellaneous mishaps of our members.

Ryan Dethman seemed to have a problem with the milepost 66 marker, with others mentioned, but Lou Gehrig won the award in the end. Lou now has the honor of Drilled at Drill. Ask him what that means.

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The Pine Grove Auction’s 49th year was a great success. The weather held and a lot of items were moved through in a timely manner. We always appreciate all of you for your donations, consignments and attendance at our auction.

We would also like to thank Greg Murray and Murray Furniture for all of the items he supplies to our auction, his expertise on items and his auction abilities! We would like to thank Bill Griffith of Griffith Motors for his auctioning and our regular auction guys in the Department. It is a true talent and a lot of hard work.

We would also like to thank the Kennedy family of The Gorge White House on Highway 35 for donating 50 percent of their profits on Saturday to the Pine Grove Fire Department.

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Phillip Diers, son of the late Linda Diers and David Diers, spoke with me at the auction and wanted to thank everyone for their fundraising efforts and donations to his mother’s health costs. The family is most appreciative of all your support in the recent medical costs of Linda’s’ fight with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).

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