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Lawrence VFD celebrates 40 years of service

ANDIS — Saturday’s celebration was about marking a 40-year milestone for one organization and recognizing the start for another that hopes to serve the community for years to come.

The Lawrence Township Volunteer Fire Department hosted a 40-year anniversary celebration at the newly created Andis Community Center, honoring two of its charter members.

Frank Jenkins and Doyle Jenkins were presented with appreciation plaques and watches for their service to the Lawrence Township community over the past four decades.

It wasn’t always easy. Forming a fire department was no small feat 40 years ago.

Charter members of the Lawrence Township Volunteer Fire Department purchased a truck by individually signing a bank note and becoming personally liable for making the payments.

“We not only want to thank the charter members, but all of the wives, children, and other family members who sacrifice their time with these men while they volunteer themselves,” LTVFD President Larry Layne said.

A variety of activities were conducted at the celebration. A slide show of the department’s history was presented as people enjoyed free food, music by local band Southern Thunder and free health screenings provided by King’s Daughters Medical Center.

Children played on a large fire truck inflatable and toured the Perry Township Smoke Trailer, which educates children on house fire safety and storm preparedness safety.

“This was a very successful event, not only for the fire department, but for the community center as well. We hope that others in the community look to this building for their future events,” said Jon Ferguson, board member of the Andis Community Center. “We now have a fully functional kitchen and plenty of space for about any event possible. We have already booked a few birthday parties and a family reunion as a result of this event.”

Lawrence County Commissioners Doug Malone and Jason Stephens were on hand for the celebration.

All of the fire department’s trucks were on display and MTS ambulance service donated their large grill for the food preparation.

The fire department had several giveaways available, including escape ladders, fire extinguishers, and smoke alarms.