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Helping A Hero: Sanger’s Benefit BBQ & Blood Drive in Support of Captain Pete Dern
May 31, 2015 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm$10
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, call Greg DuPuis at 875-6568.
SANGER COMING TOGETHER TO SUPPORT FRESNO FIRE HERO
BBQ, blood drive will give community opportunity to help Capt. Pete Dern
SANGER – The community of Sanger is pulling together to put on a big benefit barbecue and blood drive for Fresno Fire Capt. Pete Dern.
“Helping a Hero: Sanger’s Benefit BBQ & Blood Drive for Fresno Fire Capt. Pete Dern” will be held Sunday, May 31 from noon to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Sanger Firefighters Association Local 1809, Sanger Police Officers Association, Central California Blood Center, Sanger Woman’s Club and Sanger Chamber of Commerce.
The blood center will coordinate the blood drive at the Sanger Fire Department, with two bloodmobiles to be provided. The blood drive will include the annual Battle of the Badges, which pits fire and police departments from throughout the Valley to see whose supporters can provide the most donations of blood. Sanger firefighters and police officers will compete in the local version of the battle.
The barbecue will be held at the Sanger Woman’s Club, 1602 Seventh St., just down the street from the fire department. A delicious meal of barbecued tritip and chicken, pilaf, beans and a roll will be available for $10 per plate.
Barbecue tickets are available at the Sanger Fire Department, Sanger Chamber of Commerce, Sanger Woman’s Club and the Sanger Herald.
“We are proud to work with the community to put on this great event,” said Sanger Woman’s Club President Josie Lopez. “Sanger always comes together to support a great cause. We recognize the sacrifices our firefighters make and the dangers they face every day.”
Donations of cash, beef, chicken and other barbecue items can be made to the Sanger Firefighters Association, which will present a check to the Dern family after the event from the event proceeds. Volunteers are also needed to help with the event.
Dern, a veteran of more than 25 years of service to the Fresno Fire Department, was leading his crew across a garage roof March 29 to provide ventilation for interior crews when the roof gave way and he fell into the fire. Firefighters on scene were able to rescue him within minutes, but he suffered second- and third-degree burns on about 65 percent of his body.
He is still in critical condition at the Community Regional Leon S. Peters Burn Center and has a long road to recovery. He has already had several surgeries, and physicians estimate more than a dozen more surgeries and a lot of blood will be needed in the months to come. His pain is well controlled and he is spending time with family and friends.
Dern was featured as ABC News Person of the Week in early April. An account has been set up for him and his family at the YouCaring website at http://tinyurl.com/nl7av2g. More than $100,000 has been raised so far.
“We are truly honored to have the community of Sanger step forward to help Capt. Dern, who suffered serious burn injuries while on duty,” said Sanger Fire Chief Greg Tarascou. “As firefighters, we expect to go home at the end of our shift, and with the help of the community and the fire service, we are going to do our part to see that Capt. Dern goes home after his recovery.”
The Sanger Fire Department is one of several Valley fire departments actively hosting or supporting blood drives or other efforts to raise funds and cheer up the injured fire captain.
“The Sanger Firefighters Association Local 1809 is honored to be able to be a part of the community support for Fresno Fire Capt. Pete Dern as he recovers from his burn injuries,” said Greg DuPuis, vice president of the Sanger Firefighters Association. “No matter what patch you wear on your sleeve, we are all family and we all take care of each other.”
The Sanger Police Officers Association is proud to play a key role in the event.
“The public safety brotherhood always rallies to meet the needs of a brother and their family,” said Kevin Callahan, president of the Sanger Police Officers Association.
The Central California Blood Center is the sole provider of blood and blood products for the 30 hospitals in Fresno, Tulare, Madera, Kings and Mariposa counties and must collect 5,000 to 6,000 pints of blood a month to meet the needs of the Valley community.
Blood donation takes less than one hour to complete. Donors must be in good general health, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 years old with written parental consent). Senior citizens are encouraged to donate, as there is no upper age limit.
Donors should eat a good meal and drink plenty of water within 4 hours prior to their donation. Donors can give blood every eight weeks. A photo ID and social security number are required at donor registration.
Appointments are available. Donors will receive a free Central California Blood Center tote bag.
To make a blood drive appointment, volunteer for or donate to the event or for more information, contact the Sanger Fire Department at 875-6568.