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Starkville firefighters pose for a good cause

January 18, 2012

Two local firemen, Taurus Young and Brian Arnett, were chosen to appear in the 2012 Mississippi Firefighters Calendar. On Friday, Jan. 20, Arnett and Young will be at the Book Mart and Cafe on Main Street to sign the calendar from 2-3:30 p.m.
“We just thought it was such a great cause,” Book Mart & Cafe co-manager Carolyn Abadie said. “When we found out two of our own firefighters were going to be in it, we knew we wanted to bring some attention to the calendar and help raise some money for a good cause.”
Abadie said 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the Mississippi Burn Foundation.
The calendar is sponsored by the Mississippi Burn Foundation, formerly known as the Mississippi Firefighters Memorial Burn Association. Executive Director Amanda Fontaine said being chosen is an honor.
“We sent out news releases all over the state asking for nominations for firefighters who people believed stood apart in their community,” Fontaine said. “We had over 100 firefighters nominated and we chose 18 and made an 18-month calendar. We chose two from Starkville, which says a lot about the quality of the public servants there.”
Fontaine said the firefighters were chosen based on the letters they received nominating each firefighter. The calendar is produced each year as a fundraiser.
“Money from the calendars go to support the Mississippi Burn Foundation,” Fontaine said. “We assess the burn victims and their families to see what they need in the aftermath of a fire. We pay for gas for the family to go back and forth from the burn center, we pay for hotel rooms for families of victims, we pay for pressure garments, medication –– really anything that they may need. Sometimes they come in on a helicopter, and I run to Walmart and get them a change of clothes.”
Fontaine said the foundation is working toward a place for the families of burn victims to stay nearby.
“One thing we’re trying to accomplish is the construction of a lodge across the street from the Crossgates River Oaks Burn Center in Brandon,” Fontaine said. “That way, the families of burn victims will have somewhere close by to stay free of charge while their loved ones are being treated.”
The Crossgates River Oaks Burn Center in Brandon saw more than 400 outpatients every month and admitted well more than 500 inpatients last year alone.
Volunteer Chair for the calendar Robby Scucchi said being asked to take part in the calendar is a commitment.
“The firefighters not only have to continue with their day to day work, but they also are asked to assist with the sale of the calendar,” Scucchi said.
Scuchhi said the calendar has included firefighters from Greenville, Greenwood, Tupelo, Meridian, Diamondhead, Oxford, Hernando and the Greater Jackson area and will offer a section on burn safety tips.
“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s for a good cause,” Scucchi said.
For more information, visit http://www.mfmba.org, email Fontaine at afontaine@mfmba.org or call 601-540-2995.

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