By: Rachel A. Curry
Home is where the heart is, and for members of the South Jacksonville Fire Department (SJFD) Auxiliary, one of their homes is the South Jacksonville Fire Station. August 2015 will mark the tenth year anniversary of the non-for-profit organization founded by fellow SJFD Auxiliary board members Dani Glascock, Crystal Hickox and Brenda McEvers. The 89 member SJFD Auxiliary raises money to support the needs of the SJFD, and throughout the years more than $23,000 has been donated. There is no connection between the SJFD Auxiliary and the Village of South Jacksonville.
“SJFD Auxiliary and SJFD are an extremely tight-knit group; we are all truly family,” Glascock, president of the SJFD Auxiliary, said. “We are (as) thick as blood relatives.”
McEvers, membership chair of the SJFD Auxiliary, feels the same as Glascock. “We are all family. These firemen are like my kids, my brothers,” she said. “They appreciate what we do.”
Keeping the firefighters of the SJFD safe and showing support, are key to why the auxiliary was founded. Glascock, Hickox and McEvers’s husbands are all members of the SJFD. David Hickox is the fire chief for the SJFD, Mike McEvers, first assistant fire chief and Brian Glascock, second assistant fire chief. Through their hard work and dedication the SJFD Auxiliary has been able to purchase many things for the SJFD, such as: LED high-beam helmet lights, ladder truck equipment and thermal imaging camera.
“The auxiliary, by their creation, helped the department buy equipment the village couldn’t fund,” Mike said. “We’ve had good village support.”
Throughout the years various fundraisers have been held by the SJFD Auxiliary to raise money. There is the annual Christmas Cookie Walk and it’s the sixth year for trivia night. A family day has also been held, with entertainment provided by the SJFD firefighters, lemon shake-up stands set-up and a cookbook sold, titled the ‘Firehouse Favorite Cookbook.’ Donations are also received on a regular basis. Harold and Wanda Sorrill have given every year. The SJFD Auxiliary’s first memorial donation came from the late Doris Whitaker. She was a well-known face at the SJFD, and always willing to give a helping hand, whether it be at a fundraiser, bringing donuts or buying a nacho machine.
Supporting one another is something the SJFD Auxiliary places a heavy emphasis on when it comes to describing what the auxiliary is all about. The love the SJFD has for its community and firehouse spills over to the auxiliary. Rain or shine the SJFD Auxiliary is there for the firefighters, regardless if it is bringing them drinking water to a fire site or helping them at their fundraisers. “It’s ten years of support for the guys,” Dani said. “It’s the continued support of the family. It’s not a one-time thing.”
Crystal, the secretary of the SJFD Auxiliary, agrees with Dani. “It’s how we roll,” she said.
For more information about the SJFD Auxiliary, or to become a member, please contact Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CUTLINE: The South Jacksonville Fire Department (SJFD) Auxiliary whole-heartedly stand behind the SJFD. In the back, left to right, Crystal Hickox and David Hickox, fire chief. Left to right, in the front, Brian Glascock, second assistant fire chief; Dani Glascock, Mike McEvers, first assistant fire chief and Brenda McEvers.