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Orion's Goodfellows make holidays special



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Goodfellow firefighters from Station No. 3 (click for larger version)
November 30, 2011 - By Joe St. Henry

Review Editor

During December, Lake Orion's volunteer firefighters do more than just answer emergency calls.

Many of them give their time and energy to ignite our community's holiday spirit - and help struggling families and others here enjoy the Christmas season.

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2011 marks the 44th year the Lake Orion Firefighters Goodfellows from Station No. 3 and other units in the township will be collecting donations for their annual charitable efforts.

"This has been a great tradition of ours that has helped hundreds of families in Lake Orion over the years," said volunteer firefighter and Chapter President Bob Hudak. "Our guys really enjoy going out into the community to raise money for this cause."

All day on Saturday, Dec. 3, Goodfellows dressed in their full fire gear will be stationed at the doors of the Big Boy restaurant, Panera Bread and Kroger grocery store on Baldwin Road, soliciting donations.

On Dec. 10, the Goodfellows will be visiting the Keatington subdivision once again, with Santa Claus on a fire truck, sirens blaring and accepting donations. The non-profit group also will be accepting money from local businesses throughout the month.

The Goodfellows hope to raise several thousand dollars, which will be used to assemble large food baskets for struggling families that are typically identified through community organizations and word-of-mouth. In addition, the Goodfellows provide winter clothes for children and adults.

Christmas would not be complete without a couple toys for each child, so the firefighters step in for Santa and provide gifts, too. "We try to find out what each kid wants and then do our best to make Christmas morning special for them," Hudak said. "The Goodfellows' motto is no child should be without a Christmas."

All of the items are delivered to the families on Christmas Eve. Last year, the Goodfellows assisted 24 families in need, mainly from the Lake Orion area. They hope to help at least 18-20 families this year.

"Most of the funds we raise come from people and businesses in Lake Orion, so we mainly try to help out families here," Hudak said.

The organization's fundraising efforts also raise money for families that may be struggling to pay utility bills during other times of the year.

Persons interested in donating to the Goodfellows' holiday efforts or nominating a family in need can do so by visiting the Lake Orion Fire Department's Station No. 3 off of Gregory Road in Orion Township, or by calling Hudak at 248-895-0406. They can also send an email to him at OTFFGF@gmail.com.

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