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HUTCHINSON – Hutchinson Fire Department (HFD) raised a record $72,433.93 for its back to school supply drive. In just its third year, it more than tripled last year’s total of $23,500. HFD wants to thank the great citizens of Hutchinson and the surrounding area for coming out and supporting HFD in this great cause for our children. Supplies will be distributed the week of August 12 to over twenty-four schools in Reno County that include USD 308, 309, 313, private schools, and alternative learning schools.
“We are overwhelmed by the response from our community,” said Fire Chief Steve Beer. “This is one thing that the HFD can do to give back to our community. This is much bigger than us as firefighters, this is about the future of our children and getting them off to a great start in learning” Beer added. The countless extra volunteer hours of off duty firefighters, their families, friends, and area teachers were key is making this come together, manning doors, and sorting supplies. HFD is proud of our program with area schools.
HFD’s back to school program is led by the Fire Prevention and Education Division of the department. A team consisting of Fire Marshal Tony Arpin, Inspector Mike Cain, Administrative Staff Aide Karrlita Fortna, school teachers Jennifer Winters and Jenny Mencl formulate a game plan. HFD’s back to school program is partnered with school teachers at each area school. Every spring, area principals are emailed a list of essential school supplies for the upcoming year. They list the supplies needed and the quantities that they need. Forms are then emailed back to HFD to start the process in motion. Entrance doors at school supply outlet stores in Hutchinson are manned for local donations. Supplies are then sorted, boxed, and taken to the schools where these requests can be utilized by the teachers. Teachers distribute as needs occur.
The Hutchinson Fire Department would like to thank our sponsors this year. Allen Samuels Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Hutchinson and Kroger Accounting Department for their commitment to the future of our children and helping make this a huge success for Hutchinson and Reno County children.