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Jefferson firefighters to hold annual ball
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Firefighters ball
What: Jefferson Fire Department’s sixth annual firefighters ball, a semi-formal, BYOB event
When: 7 until 11 p.m. Saturday
Where: Jefferson Civic Center on Kissam Street.
Tickets: $30 per person includes heavy hors d’oeuvres. To reserve a ticket call: The Jefferson Fire Department, 706-387-7400; Chief Bobby Gooch, 706-215-3091; Julie McEver, 706-424-3730; Susan Gooch, 706-367-9462

JEFFERSON — Members of the Jefferson Fire Department are planning to burn up the dance floor this weekend.

The group is planning to gather Saturday for their sixth annual firefighter’s ball at the Jefferson Civic Center. This isn’t just any old, shindig — this is a party with a purpose. Proceeds from the semi-formal event will benefit the Clark Water’s Scholarship Fund.

“Clark Waters was a former Jefferson fireman,” said Bobby Gooch, fire department chief. “He lost his life and we created this ball in memory of him.”

It is no surprise that the close-knit group of firefighters would choose to have an annual event to honor one of their own. Risking your life on a daily basis and running into burning buildings tends to bring people closer. While some people might need the enticement of a hefty sum of money to put their life on the line, many of the Jefferson firefighters do it for free. Most of the department’s staff are volunteers.

“We use the money from Clark Waters fund to provide scholarships to local high school students,” Gooch said.

The goal of the scholarship fund is to assist those high school seniors who are pursuing a career in fire sciences, public service, social science, health or any other related academic program. To be eligible, students must have plans to attend an accredited college or university and they must also write an essay outlining why they feel they are qualified to receive the scholarship.

Although many ball attendees will be firefighters, that is not a requirement. The event is open to the public, as long as they are at least 21 years old.

In addition to working other paying jobs, Gooch estimates that the department responds to around 400 emergency calls each year, so the ball is a good opportunity for the group to relax and just enjoy each other’s company.

Live music will be provided at the weekend event by Still Cruzin, a band out of Hartwell and ticket prices include heavy hors d’oeuvres. There will also be silent auction.

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