Cashier pays for Wauconda firefighters' groceries; they donate to Harvey relief

A team of Wauconda firefighters responded to a supermarket cashier's generosity this week by donating money to a Hurricane Harvey relief effort.

Lt. Joe Studer and two other firefighters from Wauconda Fire District station No. 2 were about to pay for groceries at Island Foods, 223 E. State Road in Island Lake, Wednesday morning when they got a call about a possible stroke victim.

"Obviously we ran out of there, got into an ambulance and took off," said Studer, who was at the store with firefighter/paramedics Joe CaDavid and Scott Schrayer.

Before abandoning their chicken, pork chops, vegetables and other items at the register, the trio asked cashier Charity Faurie to ring up the groceries and promised to return to pay.

Calls during shopping happen occasionally, Studer said, and the firefighters always return for their goods.

But this time, Faurie personally paid the bill, which came to nearly $50.

"After they left I said, 'No, I'm going to pay for these,'" Faurie said. "(It was) a thank you. They don't get thanked enough."

When the firefighters came back a little while later, they found the groceries bagged and the tab covered.

"We were kind of confused at first," Studer said. But a manager and Faurie insisted the order was paid for.

"The next time we see her, I guarantee she's going to get hugs," Studer said.

Firefighters traditionally pay for their own meals when on shift. Instead of pocketing the $50 they would have spent on food, Studer's crew donated the money to the American Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

"She was basically providing two meals for us, so we decided to buy two meals for somebody else," Studer said.

Wauconda firefighters and police officers stood at the intersection of Main Street and Route 176 on Friday to collected donations for the Red Cross, too.

This isn't the first time someone generously purchased a Wauconda fire station's groceries.

In May 2016, an anonymous donor picked up the tab for a crew at a local Jewel-Osco after they left for what turned out to be a false alarm. Those firefighters, from station No. 1, gave their meal money to the Wauconda Island Lake Food Pantry.

Wauconda firefighters want to thank anonymous donor who bought their groceries

  Firefighters from Wauconda Fire District station No. 2 in Island Lake were grateful after an Island Foods cashier paid for their groceries Wednesday when they had to rush to a call. Paul Valade/
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