MEMBERS OF Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 will donate nearly 400 books about fire prevention and fire safety next week to three Northwest area schools.
The donation is the fire department's chance to "give something back" to the community, said Mike Glass, a volunteer firefighter and former fire department chief.
It was Glass who came up with Basket Bingo for Books, which raised money to buy the fire prevention books for local schools.
Glass, a firefighter for 27 years who works full time as an engineer with Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Company No. 1, said he got the idea after volunteering in his grandson's kindergarten class last year.
"I truly enjoyed reading to the children and later they were reading to me," Glass said.
But he noticed the classroom didn't have a lot of books about fire prevention and safety.
Glass said he had hoped to raise about $1,000 to purchase books about fire prevention for the area's two elementary schools, Taneytown and Runnymede. The fund-raiser was held March 17, and organizers were able to raise $3,500 - enough money to buy books for Northwest Middle School as well.
"We had such a good response," Glass said. "I had to turn people away."
According to Sharon Eiler, a paramedic who volunteers at Taneytown, more than 20 games of bingo were played and 27 baskets given away.
"I don't think we ever expected to raise more than $3,000," Eiler said.
Others who helped in making the fund-raiser a success were Glass' wife, Nancy Glass; Donna Hartman, an honorary member of the Taneytown fire department; and Wayne Baker, Arbin Bollinger, Kenny Shoemaker and Graham Wildasin, all members of Taneytown's fire department.
The books will be presented at Taneytown Elementary School at 11:55 a.m. Wednesday. One child representing each grade will be among those accepting the books.
The Ladies' Auxiliary of Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 will hold a basket bingo fund-raiser Sept. 22 at the fire department's activities building. Doors open at 5 p.m., and bingo starts at 7 p.m.
Shrimp platters will sell for $6. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Information: 410-756-6781.
Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.