Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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November 7, 2013

Barry VFD holds grand opening

Corsicana — Barry Volunteer Fire Department, at long last, completed its remodeling and held a grand opening barbecue, thank you, and open house for the community on Saturday, Oct. 26.

After months of fundraising, sweat, labor, planning and working, the night it all came to fruition had about 150 people in attendance. An opening prayer was led by Pastor Gene Gipson of Barry Baptist Church. Doris Long loaned a flag to fly high above the VFD that had once draped her late father Ray Crawford’s coffin. He served in World War I and was a Purple Heart recipient. Once the flag was raised, Carroll Boswell led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Nan Strebeck sang the Star Spangled Banner.

“Without the dedication of our service men and women we all would not be standing here today,” said Loyde Junkin, retired firefighter from Waxahachie Fire Department and volunteer firefighter at Barry VFD. “To note, the flag we raised was once flown over our Nation’s capitol.

“We were all happy to finally have our new fire station dedicated. We thank all those in the community who donated help, auction items, or any type of donation. We also thank the members of the Community Chapel Church in Corsicana, for coming to serve for our barbecue dinner.”

Chief Mike Ball was instrumental in obtaining donations from men and women in the community. The new fire station was his dream. There were volunteer laborers, such as James Long, the leading contractor, as well as many of his family; Don Pointer, who was instrumental with plumbing work and other construction; and Lowe’s, who donated not only materials, but labor, too.

“When we started, we hoped in the first year just to get the foundation done, the outside walls on and the doors,” said fire chief Mike Ball. “We got a grant from the J. Edens Trust for $20,000. Then my neighbor Joanne Cates put us in for the Lowe’s Heroes program, which provided $1,200 worth of materials, and they sent a crew down to install it.”

Housed until recently in a small, tin building, the volunteer fire department which actually formed in 1960 began dreaming of a real fire station, “a home of its own,” just seven years ago, with the ground breaking in October 2012.

The Barry VFD reached its goal of having the new fire station completed by mid-October, and is thrilled to be able to hold training for its firefighters, and have a fully-functional fire station, as well as being a hub for community activities, events and functions.

“We tried to design the building to last at least 50 years,” Ball said. “There are no words to express my gratitude to the community, what they have given in time, effort and donations. To me it’s a dream come true.”

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