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Linton Fire Department's "Station Rats" raising money Saturday to help emergency personnel affected by Hurricane Sandy

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Linton Fire Department's "Station Rats" will be raising money Saturday to help emergency personnel affected by Hurricane Sandy in Breezy Point, New York.

The Station Rats are the young sons and daughters of the firefighters who frequently spend time at the fire station.

The sons and daughters of the firefighters will have the rubber fire suit boots outside the fire station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday for a "Fill the Boot" fundraiser.

Sparks said his daughter, Olivia, and Mitchell Eberhardt came up with the idea to assist the emergency personnel in New York that lost their homes while saving the lives of others during Hurricane Sandy in October.

"The community was basically made up of police and firefighters. Their community was burnt down because they couldn't get to it, and lost every thing to water damage. By being out and saving other people's lives, they couldn't save their own property," Sparks explained.

Sparks said the idea is a continuation of the Station Rats' project to raise money for the tornado victims in Henryville.

"They wanted to continue it. It's a thing for them to stay together and do things as they get older, and their way of giving back," Sparks said.

He added the fire station youth get excited about projects to help other emergency personnel across the country. Sparks said it also serves as a learning experience.

"They are pretty fired up. Mitchell Eberhardt and my daughter, Olivia, they've been discussing it now for the last three or four months. They decided to throw it on me at the last minute. I told them this is their baby. They have put this together themselves, and it has been a learning experience for them as well," Sparks explained.

Sparks said he has been proud to see how professional the Station Rats act as they work towards helping strangers.

"Nobody complained whatsoever last year. The kids acted really well. They presented themselves very professionally. You know, with kids you are afraid they'll be out there jumping around, but that's not the case," Sparks said.

He asks that the community be cautious as the Fill the Boot fundraiser takes places because the children will be by the road side and there will be slowed or stopped traffic along the highway.

Sparks noted he is currently in the process of finding a contact within the Breezy Point Community to make sure the funds get sent directly to those who lost their homes from the damage.

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