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Church donates money to Az City programs

ARIZONA CITY — The Arizona City Fire District has established many different programs and events to assist the community.

Some of its main programs are the summer safety programs, also known as water days, the 3rd of July fireworks celebration, the October trunk-o-treat and the senior and shut-in Christmas dinner delivery.

Evangelical Methodist Church pastors Charles Kerr and Chet Kwait raised $600 for those various programs during their monthly focus for outreach at the church.

“Pastor Charles has been aware of the work that the fire department does and he just recommended it to our church and to our outreach committee,” Kwait said. “This is something we can support. We would have loved to have done more but we understand because of COVID it has been held back and that’s really what drew up to do it. We want to support our local community.”

Every month the church has a mission emphasis, and for the month of July the emphasis was to support the fire district.

“Sometimes local legions or even national legions get overlooked because there’s such a big emphasis on overseas legions,” Kerr said.

Kwait added that there is a lot of important work to be done locally and the fire district play a big part in helping out.

The water days program sponsors approximately 100 to 150 children per day and it gives children in the community a place to go while the Boys and Girls Club there is closed for the summer.

“We spend about $1,800 every summer,” fire chief Jeff Heaton said. “We feed them and many times we’ve found out that’s the only hot meal the kids are getting during the day. I’m always amazed that we bring in the water slides and everything, and I ask them what was the best part and many times we’ll hear, the hotdog. It’s just shocking that the hotdog is the best, because it’s the only warm thing they’ll eat all day long.”

The trunk-o-treat event is similar to water days as it gives families a safe environment to trick-or-teat on Halloween.

Last year there were over 46 trunks and 2,100 pounds of candy was either purchased or donated.

The Christmas dinner delivery is where meals are delivered to individuals on Christmas Day by fire district staff, their families and many volunteers.

Local restaurants have volunteered to prepare and box the dinners and desserts.

The fire district also has a food pantry for those who need help during trying times.

According to AZCFD Assistant Administrator Frank McLaughlin, who is also in charge of community outreach, the programs are solely funded by contributions, donations and program sponsorships made to the Arizona City Fire District Association.

The association is a 501c3 and 509a2 organization that works directly with the fire district to continue to the programs.

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Az City Fire District responding to more calls this year

ARIZONA CITY — The number of response calls for the Arizona City Fire District is still high compared to the average from previous years.

Fire Chief Jeff Heaton told the district board on Aug. 10 that a lot of the calls are for difficulty breathing, which can be attributed to many different factors such as allergies, age or concern about possible COVID-19.

Heaton added that around 20 calls have been confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The board selected a new member to fill its vacant seat. Randy Johnson was one of two candidates who showed interest in joining the board.

“I can say I think without any problem from anybody else that both were very qualified candidates and we’re very impressed by both of you,” board Chairman Tim McCain said.

Johnson will be sworn in at the next meeting, which is scheduled for Sept. 14.

The board also approved a combined resolution affecting county treasurer transactions for fiscal year 2020-21, which is a yearly requirement for the budget.