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Plymouth Elks’ contribution furthers community’s fire-safety mission

 Plymouth Elks’ contribution furthers community’s fire-safety mission

Pictured in front of the recently-donated inflatable fire safety house are (from left) Dave Fisher, Jay Steele, Charley Dawson, Marc Godman, Plymouth Twp. Fire Chief Pat Conely and Stu Israel.

Not only is the Plymouth Ann Arbor Elks Lodge 325 operating out of a new, totally-renovated headquarters at 110 W. Ann Arbor Trail in Plymouth, the long-established fraternal organization is ramping up its contributions to the community it represents.

On May 9, a new $7,000 inflatable fire-safety education house that Lodge 325 funded for the Plymouth Township Fire Department was unveiled inside the Elks’ new digs.

Altogether, the lodge presented a grant totaling $8,500 to the department, the balance of which was used to purchase a new inflatable canopy for special fire-safety events and special ambulance kits that will help calm people with autism during emergencies.

The donations were spearheaded by Lodge 325 Exalted Ruler (President) Marc Godman, Plymouth Township Fire Chief Pat Conely said.

“Marc reached out to me about a year ago and said the Elks wanted to donate a $8,500 grant to the department,” Conely recalled. “I was like, ‘Wow! This is great!’.

Fantastic teaching tool

“We had a tiny safety house a few years ago, but it only consisted of two rooms where our fire fighters could sit down with kids and talk about fire safety. With the old house, there was a lot of maintenance and it created a storage issue. Once this house is deflated, it folds up into the size of a card table, so storage is no issue.”

Plymouth Ann Arbor Lodge 325 Exultant Ruler Marc Godman prepares to exit the fire safety house via the back window
Plymouth Ann Arbor Lodge 325 Exultant Ruler Marc Godman prepares to exit the fire safety house via the back window

The new house will provide a cool space where fire fighters will guide tours during which kids will learn about kitchen-fire safety, candle safety and how to use a fire extinguisher correctly.

“We also have a non-toxic smoke machine that will allow us to teach kids to stay low and crawl out of the house when there is a fire,” Conely said. “It’s a very versatile benefit for us.”

Conely said there is a fun element, too, once the kids finish the guided tour.

“They get to jump out of a window at the end of the house and onto an inflated landing area,” he said.

Beyond appreciative

Conely said the Township’s appreciation for the Elks’ contribution is “tremendous”.

“We probably would not have been able to purchase this without the help of the Elks,” he said. “They really stepped up.”

Godman said there is nothing better for him and the Elks growing roster of members than to be able to give back to the community.

“Once we identified the department’s need, we took action,” Godman said. “We love that we’re able to make a difference. This is the first of many (donations).”

To learn more about the Plymouth Ann Arbor Elks Lodge 325, visit its website here.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

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Ed Wright

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