Another Successful Firehouse Ride For Hook & Ladder Fire Company
Leaves touched with autumn colors traced reflections across glossy gas tanks and chrome handle bars. Flashing with faint streaks of reds and yellows were the many motorcycles meandering through Newtown, Brookfield, Bridgewater, Roxbury, and Southbury on Saturday, September 29.
At 3 pm, Newtown Hook & Ladder Co #1 members watched as riders and passengers left the firehouse at 12 Church Hill Road, beginning the ninth annual ride and fundraising event. Registration had started at 1 pm; two hours later, motorcycles lined the firehouse lot. Fire trucks were parked outside, clearing the large bays to make room for raffle tables, silent auction items, and seating for the BBQ pig roast that would kick off when riders returned around 4. After their approximately 50-mile route, riders — including one German shepherd who sat in a sidecar — returned to enjoy food, music, raffles, and more.
Riders started their afternoon trip with kind words and a blessing.
As registration continued between 1 and 3 pm, First Selectman Dan Rosenthal spoke.
“Some of my earliest memories are of Hook & Ladder,” he said. “I remember my grandfather lifting me up to look in the windows.”
Mr Rosenthal thanked the firefighters, “for being people I can look up to. Think about the volunteers who go out in the middle of the night to help those in need.”
St Rose of Lima Church Deacon Dan O’Connor followed Mr Rosenthal, offering a blessing. Telling riders that he also has a motorcycle license, he began a prayer, “that those on motorcycles today travel safely and for pleasure and find God as a companion on your journey.”
After traveling on the mild, early autumn day through surrounding towns, across a bridge spanning Lake Lillinonah, over main streets and side roads bordering forests, streams, and quiet neighborhoods, the ride eventually arrived in Sandy Hook, making its way up Church Hill Road to return to the firehouse. This year, Ed “Stretch” Forbell was the honored life member.
Fundraising proceeds benefit Hook & Ladder and help with general building maintenance and expenses.
One of five independent fire companies in town, Newtown Hook & Ladder provides fire protection and advanced rescue to the town of Newtown. It is the oldest fire company in the town, with its beginnings dating to the early 1800s. In 1883, a state charter was granted and the first apparatus was purchased. Hook and Ladder is an all-volunteer fire company.
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