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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021 8 months ago

Winter Garden Elks Lodge hosting fundraiser rally for Firehood Foundation

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The organization is still seeking corporate and individual sponsors to help support raising awareness for first responders.
by: Annabelle Sikes Staff Writer

The Winter Garden Elks Lodge is hosting a fundraising event for first responders this weekend. 

The community service organization in Winter Garden is helping the Firehood Foundation through a special rally to raise funds. 

After losing Stephen Vanravenswaay and John Perez to cancer and an autoimmune disease related to firefighting, Tom “Bull” Hill made a promise to bring about a change.

On March 20, 2018, Hill set out to “Keep Shakey’s Promise” for his 2 fallen friends and brothers through a walk that started at the 0 Mile Marker in Key West, and ended at the steps of the Florida Capital on May 10, 2018.  

Following the walk, Hill founded his nonprofit, The Firehood Foundation, which initially focused on supporting firefighters and their families who are dealing with occupational cancer, but quickly expanded to help those suffering from PTSD, as well as heart, and lung disease. 

Hill has recently been recognized by the Miami Dolphins and the Orlando Magic for his dedication to helping first responders.

The upcoming event will help support Hill's next walk, which is set to take place in January of 2022. 

The organization is still seeking corporate and individual sponsors to help support raising awareness. Those interested can choose from a variety of sponsorship options. 

The fundraiser will begin at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Winter Garden Elks Lodge at 700 S. Ninth St. 

The rally will run until 4 p.m. and include food, music, games and raffle prizes. 

For more information, to donate, or to help serve, call the lodge at 407-656-2165.

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Annabelle Sikes is a staff writer at the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She graduated in May 2021 from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in sociology.  Her past...

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