By Nathan Mayberg
WOODBOURNE October 12, 2004 The Woodbourne Fire Company responded with a team effort after one of its own lost his home to a fire recently.
Their efforts culminated in a well-attended spaghetti dinner at the departments firehouse on Sunday evening.
The department also helped organize a drive to donate furniture and clothing to William Bill Mance, his wife Dawn Mance and their 10-year-old daughter Stephanie Rossi.
Each family attending the dinner offered a donation for the Mances through the department. The department itself has also contributed furniture and clothes to the family.
Bill and Dawns home was struck by fire, believed to be electrical in nature, last month. The familys apartment was situated behind Tonys Family Restaurant in Woodridge. The restaurant and the other apartments in the building were all lost.
The Mances lost all of their belongings. They have since moved into an apartment building near the firehouse.
It has been rough, said Dawn.
However, both she and her husband expressed deep gratitude to the fire department for its contributions.
That extends beyond the department, too, said Bill.
My family and I would like to say thanks for everything everybody has done for us.
The Mances said the American Red Cross has been of assistance, and Woodridge village board member Andrea Roberts was a big help in gathering clothing donations and locating a new home.
Over a dozen firefighters helped out with cooking, serving and setting up the dinner. Several children of the firefighters were also anxious to help.
Volunteer firefighter Heidi Stack said, Thats what we do. Hes a fellow fireman. . . . We all support each other.
Fire Chief Bill Miller said that he, Ralph LaVecchia (2nd Assistant Chief) and Nancy McLain (Lieutenant) brought the idea to the department. Everyone jumped at the chance, and some of the departments old timers, as he called them, even were seen helping out in the kitchen.
Miller said Bill Mance had just joined the department in June and appeared to be on his way to becoming a solid, dependable member. He added that Mance is a good, family-oriented person.