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Black Forest businesses present check to firefighters

The Black Forest Business Group presented a check for $2,871 to the Black Forest Fire/Rescue Protection District Aug. 1. The Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce donated a booth at the Fourth of July Street Fair in Monument, Colo., to the business group so they could raise money for the fire department. ìWe did way beyond our expectations,î said Greg Howard, president of the business group. He said the booth/fundraiser was a first for the group. ìWe would like to try every year to raise money,î Howard said.Howard’s family participated in the Fourth of July Street Fair. His nephews borrowed boots from the fire department and walked alongside the fire trucks during the parade, as the firefighters do to raise money for the Labor Day muscular dystrophy telethon. The Academy Little League Pirates team also joined the group to help raise funds. Oliver and Patricia Hunnybun designed and created banners for the fundraiser, and several members of the business group volunteered their time. The majority of the funds raised came from walking the parade route, Howard said. However, they enjoyed their booth experience and interacting with the people. One young boy approached their booth and talked to the volunteers for awhile, he said. The boy left but returned with a $20 donation. Howard said people were generous, and he was amazed at the community support. Bob Harvey, fire chief, received the check from the business group. Harvey said he was grateful for the funds. ìIt will contribute to the safety equipment tremendously,î he said, adding that the fire department will obtain new safety equipment such as shelters and goggles. ìWe were severely under-inventoried because we never dreamed of an event like this (the Black Forest fire),î Harvey said. The business groupís donation, along with other donations, helps the department fund smaller items that are nonetheless important, he said. One of those important aspects of the fire department is a project that provides high-visibility indicators for citizens, said James Rebitski, assistant chief. Rebitski said the department hopes to promote safety and faster response times by providing the sign posts. Harvey said he also plans to use the money for the Ready, Set, Go program, which is designed to help with emergency planning for families. The department will be able to print additional materials and make educational videos, he said. The program is about educating residents on how to be ìfire wise,î he said.Residents need to know when to leave under the threat of a fire and they need to have practical plans for evacuation in place. For example, Harvey said if an area is evacuated but the family is not together, it is wise to have a pre-planned safe place to meet, such as a church parking lot or a restaurant. The Ready, Set, Go program is somewhat new and is free to the public. For more information about Ready, Set, Go, visit

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