In Support Of Firefighters

Nine local businesses who had jointly given support to the Baileyton Days celebration, which had to be cancelled this year due to the pandemic, saw their donations used in a different positive way when used to make a $4,000 donation to the United Volunteer Fire Department. Shown here with a symbolic check are, from left, Brandon Gregg, an assistant fire chief with the VFD; Donna Bailey, chair of the committee that planned Baileyton Days; Donna Stephenson, committee member; Thomas Davis, who helped raise the funds, and Fire Chief Jay Wihlen.

The people of Baileyton and Greene County in general were disappointed when the pandemic made impossible the annual Baileyton Days celebration, which would have been held this weekend.

The annual event has a history of high attendance from all across the county and beyond, and usually features a popular parade, vendor booths and other activities.

Something good was salvaged out of the situation, though, when funds raised from nine local businesses in support of the celebration were transferred Friday to another good cause: enhanced community safety. The funds, totaling $4,000, were presented to Baileyton’s United Volunteer Fire Department, which plans to use the money toward purchase of “turn-out gear” to keep firefighters safer in what they do as they save lives and property.

Donations from Farm Bureau, Pizza Plus, Totally Kool, Service Loan, Animals West, Greene County Co-op, Walmart, Craven Ink and Fowler’s Furniture were passed on to Fire Chief Jay Wihlen and other department representatives at the fire hall on Horton Highway.

The United VFD fights fires within a 164-square mile area. Currently it has 14 active members.

That the donation occurred on Sept. 11 was both appropriate and coincidental, VFD reps said. Sept. 11 was selected not because of the 2001 terror attacks that propelled the heroism of firefighters into national awareness, but because it happened to be the date on which Baileyton Days would have occurred had not the pandemic caused shut-downs or significant alterations of many such public events this year.

The VFD expressed thanks to the Baileyton Days planning committee and the businesses which were willing to see their donations used for community good in a different way than first planned.

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