MEMBERS OF THE SHIAWASSEE FIREFIGHTER’S Memorial Committee held a steer raffle drawing on Monday, Sept. 30. Owosso Mayor Chris Eveleth drew the four winning tickets for a quarter-beef. The winners included Doug Stockwell, Alicia Kucel, Patrick Bradley and Keith Ellis.
Proceeds from the raffle are going toward the construction of the Shiawassee Firefighter’s Memorial in the Corunna Historical Village. The memorial will honor firefighters who have served throughout Shiawassee County, including three firefighters who died on duty – Fred Ross (1900), Roger Wenk (1977) and Elmer Hodge (1981).
The Shiawassee Firefighter’s Memorial is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 1606, Owosso, MI 48867. Please make checks payable to “Shiawassee Firefighter’s Memorial.” Donations can also be made via PayPal at www.shiawasseefirefightermemorial.com.
The Shiawassee Firefighter’s Memorial Committee would like to thank those that purchased tickets for the steer raffle fundraiser for their support. We also wish to thank Sun Bo Acres and the Rick Schneider Family for donating the steer and Bellingar Packing for donating standard processing of the beef. This fundraiser was started and driven by Rick Schneider, an honorary member of our committee, until his sudden and untimely passing on August 5. Rick worked in the City of Owosso Fire Department for 15 years and the Corunna/Caledonia Fire Department for 19 years and was a Corunna graduate and former marine.
Shiawassee Firefighter’s Memorial Committee
Our biggest fundraiser thus far, the quarter beef raffle, came to an end Saturday night as we drew the winning tickets and called the winners to congratulate them. Now that the excitement has died down, it hits me that someone was missing Saturday night.
Rick Schneider, honorary committee member, started and drove the steer raffle fundraiser until his sudden and untimely passing on August 5. Rick, through Sun Bo Acres, donated the steer back in February and served as a catalyst for our organization by attending every biweekly meeting thereafter whilst leading our fundraising efforts.
Rick sold 200 steer tickets in the first three days and several more thereafter. He also enthusiastically gathered many, many silent auction donations for our silent auction held at our July 27 pig roast. He organized and worked through the heat on the 4th of July selling roast corn on the cob at the McCurdy Park celebration.
Rick moved committee members to tears as he donated a brick from the 9/11 Twin Towers to be housed at the memorial. At another meeting, he brought the issue of PTSD, suffered by servicemen, to the forefront as he educated us on the unspoken burdens carried by first responders.
Rick was adamant about building the memorial because he recognized the sacrifice made by our fallen firefighters and the sorrow felt by their families and recognized that at any time and in any fire, there is potential to lose another.
The memorial was Rick’s passion. He wanted it built and swore that he would see it built. Upon hearing the news of his shocking death, many committee members took up his torch and vowed for the project to be completed.
If three line of duty deaths, countless firefighter’s past and present from twelve fire departments, and an antique fire truck wasn’t enough inspiration to build the memorial, the loss of Rick adds even more inspiration to see this project through.
He is gone, yet lives as we work together to build the memorial for him.
Shiawassee Firefighter’s Memorial Committee member