MOSES LAKE — It was a morning to gather at the Moses Lake Fire Department for eggs, pancakes, sausage and hash browns.
And spend time helping the fire department raise money for good causes.
“The turn out is not too bad,” said Moses Lake Fire Department Capt. Phil Walker during the annual Firefighters Breakfast on Saturday. “Typically, we see about 350 people, not sure what we’ll see today.”
But there they were — families, retired folks — gathered to help the fire department raise money for the Fire Fighters Benevolent Fund, which Walker said has been going on for about 25 years now.
Off-duty firefighters cooked breakfast, while the on-duty crew worked their shift in another fire station.
“We’re doing two things here today,” said firefighter/paramedic Jason Koziol. “We’re selling pink shirts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re raising money for Operation Warm, which provides brand new coats for kids in need.”
Koziol said the benevolent fund hoped to be able to raise the money to order 100 new coats for needy kids in Moses Lake this year.
The Benevolent Fund also helps the families of fire fighters in times of need, Koziol added.
Half of the fund raised on Saturday will go to the Moses Lake Lions Club, which will use its portion of the proceeds to help local residents get eye exams and glasses who cannot otherwise afford them.
“We’re delighted to do this,” said William West, secretary of the Moses Lake Lions Club, as he served patties of spiced pork sausage.
Kids ran around and played on fire trucks, and in the department’s inflatable boat, while several fire fighters took turns showing young people ands grownups how the fire equipment worked.
“Everybody comes in here to hang out with the fire trucks,” said Eric Shurtz, a 16-year veteran of the Moses Lake Fire Department.
“We’re just here to support our son, and we’re hungry,” said Cathy Nygard, whose son Kurt went to work as a Moses Lake firefighter this year.
It’s something he’s always wanted to be, she said, and he worked hard ever since he was a teenager — volunteering with Grant County, learning to drive an ambulance, and never giving up — to get that job.
“They are a team, they are pretty close,” Nygard said of the Moses Lake Fire Department, “It’s a good group of people.”
Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.