Countryside firefighters providing Thanksgiving dinner for needy families
Members of the Countryside Firefighters Association shopped for Thanksgiving dinner fixings at Mariano's Fresh Market in Vernon Hills on Friday as part of an annual tradition to help needy families.
This season is notable as the 10th anniversary of the event, said Dan Ogurek, association vice president.
Firefighters filled carts with turkey, sides and desserts -- everything needed for a holiday meal for four families in Libertyville, Vernon, Ela and Fremont townships, the area covered by the Countryside Fire Protection District.
Each township identifies a family, and the firefighters donate a food basket valued at $150 that includes everything needed for a hearty, healthy feast.
Shoppers included top district administrators down to the newest recruits.
"We all consider ourselves lotto winners getting to be firefighters for our careers," said Benjamin Mosko, president of the firefighter's association. "Many of us grew up in the very towns Countryside protects. So we have the distinct pleasure of coming together to give back each year. Part of our motto is 'Be Nice'. That's something we really take to heart," Mosko added.
The baskets will be assembled at the firehouse and delivered next week to each family using Countryside's 105-foot-tall ladder tower.