2007-05-25 / Community

Volies Win $30,000 In National Contest

The Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Department was awarded $30,369 in a national contest seeking to recognize volunteer fire departments and their service to their communities.

On April 28, the Volies were named one of ten finalists, chosen from a pool of 5,082 nominees, of the Circuit City "firedog Across America" contest. Between April 28 and May 13, those supporting the Breezy Point firefighters logged onto the "firedog Across America" website and voted for the firehouse. In just two weeks, 10,369 votes were cast for the volunteer firefighters. When all the votes were counted, the department came in fifth place in the contest. The Volies will receive $30,369 - $10,369 (one dollar for each vote they received), and an extra $20,000 for being named a finalist.

An essay contest produced the nominees for the contest. Maureen Byrnes, who holds dance classes at the Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire House, submitted an essay about the volunteers and their dedication to the community - from their contributions during the 9/11 recovery process, to their response to the crash of Flight 587 to their support of Iraq War veterans through the annual "Wounded Warriors" events in Rockaway.

"They are the heart and soul of this small community on the peninsula of Queens and without them Breezy and Rockaway Point would not have the safety net which they rest in," wrote Byrnes in her essay. "The men and women of this community know their families are in good hands with the hard working volunteers at this fire department." The Chickahominy Volunteer Fire Department Station 10 of Ashland, Virginia came in first in the contest.

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