November 28, 2012 - Even if the weather outside is frightful, Lake Orion's Goodfellows will make the Christmas holidays a little more delightful for the area's needy.
The firefighters from Station No. 3 aim to make the holiday season an all-inclusive one for Orion residents. Photo submitted (click for larger version)
This season marks the 45th year the Lake Orion Firefighters Goodfellows will be selling special editions of The Lake Orion Review throughout the community as well as taking donations to help those in need.
The Lake Orion Firefighters Goodfellows from Station 3 and other units in the township will be collecting donations this month at locations throughout the area to help bring holiday cheer to families that may otherwise go without some of the Christmas goodies.
Every year these dedicated individuals give their time and energy to help ignite a holiday spirit and help struggling families and others to enjoy the Christmas season.
"There has been a great tradition of ours that has helped hundreds of families in Lake Orion over the years," said volunteer firefighter and Goodfellows Chapter Presi dent Bob Hudak. "Our guys really enjoy going out into the community to help raise money for this cause.
All day on Saturday, Dec. 1, the Goodfellow firefighters will be dressed in their full fire gear at locations in the Lake Orion area. These areas include the Big Boy Restaurant, Panera Bread and the Kroger Store on Baldwin Road.
The following Saturday, Dec. 8, the Goodfellows will be visiting the Keatington subdivision with a fire truck. Expect to hear sirens and excitement as Santa Claus will be aboard the fire truck. The Goodfellows will be taking donations and handing out special editions of The Lake Orion Review.
The Goodfellows hope to raise several thousand dollars which will be used to assemble large food baskets for struggling families that are identified through community organizations and sometimes word-of-mouth. The donations also help the Goodfellows to provide winter clothes for adults and children.
Of course, Christmas would not be Christmas without a couple of toys for children. These Goodfellows may wear firefighters gear but they are working for Santa. The gifts they provide through the generosity of those who donate mean just as much to the children as the ones from Santa.
"We try to find out what each kid wants and then do our best to make their 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. Most years dozens of families are helped and given better Christmas joy.
"Most of the funds we raise come from people and businesses in Lake Orion, so we mainly try to help out families there," Hudak said.
The organizations' fund-raising efforts also raise money for families that may be struggling to pay utility bills during other times of the year.
Anyone interested in donating to the Goodfellows' holiday efforts or nominating a family in need can do so by visiting the Lake Orion Fire Department Station 3 off Gregory Road in Orion Township. They can also call Hudak at 248-895-0406 or send an email to him at OTFFGF@gmail.com.
Former Leader Editor Dan Shriner will cover Wildcat football this season.