Saturday’s Carnival highlights

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Aug 052017

Bicycle winners Cyrilla and Paul with Asst. Fire Chief Charles Sherwood.

Saturday is always a big day for kids at the Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival. For as far back as I can remember, the Saturday matinee is when the Fire Department draws the winning tickets for the free bicycle raffle.

This year’s lucky winners were Paul from Milford and Cyrilla from West Haven.
The afternoon weather was perfect and it just got better as the day went on.
One of the hot spots was the fried dough booth under the pavilion and Eli’s restaurant tent also found a lot of fans.
The OVFD always manages to reel in celebrity announcers, Radio personality Brian Smith has been volunteering for a few years and this afternoon some were surprised to hear the smooth and familiar voice of former tv newsman Leon Collins, now a Legislative Representative for the Connecticut State Firefighters Association.
The annual fundraising event ends tomorrow, (Sunday) at 5 p.m.
If you have purchased your discount-priced ride bracelets online, when you arrive at the fairgrounds, go directly to the rear of the raffle tent (across from the pavilion ‘Main Food Tent’) to pick up your wristbands, and have your ID ready.

You may use your wristbands on Sunday, Aug. 6 from 12 noon to 5 p.m.

Remember, children must be at least 3-feet tall to ride any ride. 

You can still buy regular priced tickets at the carnival.

This is the 89th annual Firemen’s carnival and this year the goal of the department’s largest fundraiser is to raise $850,000 to purchase a 75-foot ladder truck with the capability of reaching the tall buildings in town.

Don’t forget to buy your raffle tickets for a chance to win one of 11 prizes which, this year, are:

  1. $7,000 Visa Gift Card – People’s Bank
  2. $4,000 Gift Card – Travelers Choice, 236 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT
  3. $2,500 Gift Certificate – Anytime Fitness, 560 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT (Orange, CT Location Only)
  4. $2,000 Visa Gift Card – People’s Bank
  5. $1,200 Gift Certificate – Diamond Designs, 500 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT
  6. Apple iPad Air 2, 16GB, Best Buy, 53 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT
  7. $400 Gift Card – ShopRite, 935 Boston Post Road, Milford, CT
  8. $350 Gift Card – Chip’s Family Restaurant, 321 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT
  9. $250 Gift Card – Knights, Inc., 286 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT
  10. $200 Gift Card – Exxon Quick Stop, 404 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT
  11. Gift Certificate to Yale New Haven Open at Yale Tennis Tournament

Tickets are just $5 each and can be purchased at the main raffle tent across from the pavilion.

The drawing is on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at the Orange Fairgrounds, 525 Orange Center Road. No, you do not have to be present to win.

Three Communities Come Together For The Love Of Chloe

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Aug 132016

The Clemens and Chizmadia families

The Clemens and Chizmadia families

On Friday evening (Aug. 12) an incredible event took place in Woodbridge. It was not a fund-raiser or concert, rather a show of love and support for a little girl battling cancer.

In June of 2016 at 9 months of age, Chloe Clemens was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma.

Chloe’s parents, Will and Leigh Clemens both grew up in Orange and currently reside in Woodbridge.

Chloe is the granddaughter of Sharon and Curt Anderson and Mike and Pam Clemens. The Clemens Family owns Mike’s Towing in Orange. Mike is a retired member of the Orange Fire Department where he volunteered for more than 25 years.

The tri-town Amity Volunteer fire departments often work together, and the brotherhood of firefighters is strong.

When the three volunteer chiefs/assistant chiefs learned of  Chloe’s diagnosis, they put their heads together to do something unique to show their support for the little girl and her family.

They reached out to resident Bill Chizmadia, who owns Fleet Auto Supply in West Haven and asked for his help.

Chizmadia said, “They came to me with their plan to “wrap” the fire trucks from each department in Chloe’s honor. I thought it was a great idea and drew up a design right away. After they approved it, we made the materials and wrapped the trucks.”

The result is one truck each from the Bethany, Orange and Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Departments is now purple (the color that signifies support for patients with Neuroblastoma cancer) with the words, Courage for Chloe, and a gold ribbon (the color ribbons that show support for children with cancer).with the words Peace Love Cure Childhood Cancer on the side. The vehicle numbers and particular town also are displayed.

On Friday, the Firefighters invited the public from the three Amity Towns to come out to the Woodbridge Firehouse to see the trucks and meet the Clemens clan, including Chloe, whose sweet smile lit up the night.

The firefighters fed all their guests and kept everyone hydrated with cold water and drinks.

About Chloe’s illness

Half of those cases are discovered in children under two years old. It is aneuroendocrine tumor in the sympathetic nervous system that most frequently originates in one of the adrenal glands, but can develop in the nerve tissues in the neck chest, abdomen, or pelvis.Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid cancer in childhood and is the most common cancer in infancy. There are nearly  650 cases reported yearly in the US.

Chloe is being treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital.


You may follow Chloe’s story on Facebook @courageforchloe.

The family has asked that monetary donations be sent in Chloe’s name to the Tommy Fund at Yale.

The Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer |Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven | 20 York St. | New Haven, CT06510 | 1.800.974.5559 | tommyfund@ynhh.org

Donations to The Tommy Fund, a non-profit 501c3 organization, are fully tax-deductible. The Tommy Fund receives no government or agency funding.


Volunteer Fire Department Hosts Annual Pancake Supper March 4

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Mar 042015

oThe Orange Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary will host its 6th annual Pancake Supper  at Chip’s Restaurant, 321 Boston Post Rd., Orange on Wednesday, March 4, with two seatings. There will be an early seating at 5:30 p.m. and late seating at 6:30 p.m.

The special menu includes Pancakes, Eggs, choice of Bacon or Sausage and a beverage.

Cost is $10 for Adults, $5 Children 10 and under. Tickets must be purchased in advance as a limited number of seats are available.

Tickets may be purchased from any Auxiliary member or at Knight’s Inc. 286 Boston Post Rd. Orange.

All proceeds benefit the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

For further information, email Lynn@ LMK415@yahoo.com or visit their website at www.orangevfd.com

Originally Published on: Feb 11, 2015 @ 18:13

Second Publishing on: Feb 28, 2015 @ 12:13


Mother Nature Supports The Orange Volunteer Fire Department (so far)

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Aug 022014

IMG_6737The busiest day of the annual Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival started off a bit gloomy with steady rainfall around 6:30 a.m. But, just 4.5 hours later, the sun poked through the clouds and everyone was ready to get the show started.

The volunteer firefighters appreciate Mother Nature’s support as this is their major fundraiser of the year.

Proceeds from Fire Department food locations (the pavilion and the satellite tent near the fence on Orange Center Road) as well as the games the firefighters run (Dunk Tank, Speed Ball, High Striker, etc) go to the department to help pay for equipment and training expenses.

Under the main raffle tent, you will find $5 tickets for the big raffle, in which you have a  chance to win one of 10 prizes, including a $5,000 Visa Gift Card! The drawing will be held on Sunday, Aug. 3 at 4:30 p.m. at the Orange Fairgrounds.

Clear skies ahead!

Clear skies ahead!

Also, listen for announcements for the 50/50 raffle, for a $2 investment you will win half the pot and the fire department gets the other half.

Sometimes, participation is amazing and the winner walks away with a couple of hundred dollars, but if only a few people play you could win only $20 or $30. You must be present to win, and that’s half the fun. I was extremely lucky for the first time EVER on Thursday night, happily winning $51.  — it’s not $200, but it was more than I walked in with and for that, I am ridiculously happy. It helps pay the bills!

We have a Volunteer fire department?

After nearly 20 years of covering news in the town of Orange I am still astounded when I hear someone ask, “We have a volunteer fire department?”

I don’t think anyone writes more stories about the Orange Volunteer Fire Department or the extent of their training to earn certification. Training to enter a burning building. Training to drive a fire truck. In fact our volunteers do not get any money to leave their homes on Christmas eve to fight a chimney fire. No compensation to spend hours on a scorching day putting out a brush fire that’s threatening homes or property. No weekly paycheck to wake up at 3 a.m. to cut a drunk driver out of a rolled over vehicle.

Our volunteer firefighters have real paying jobs that they will leave whenever possible, in the event of an emergency.

With a volunteer fire department you save money on your taxes and you always have highly trained group of men and women ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to keep you, your family and property safe. Fire Chief John Knight hears the calls from Knight’s Equipment Inc., Highway crew chief Donald Foyer works just a few yards away from Station 2 on the Boston Post Road and can have a truck on the road in a minute after being toned out.

It’s not raining out, so head on down to the Orange Fairgrounds and do whatever you can to support the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

If you hear a tone and see these men and women leaving their volunteer posts at the carnival, you know that they are on their way to help someone in need. (it’s happened at least once so far at this year’s carnival), but they will be back. It’s what they do.

Today’s events

Ride wristbands are good today for the matinee 12-5 and evening 5-12

If you didn’t buy advance tickets, there is an At Carnival special of $22.00 for unlimited rides: SATURDAY MATINEE noon to 5 p.m.

There also will be a FREE children’s raffle during the matinee. Children 12 years and younger can register at the main raffle booth to win free prizes.

The fireworks display is tonight at 10:45 p.m.





Aug 012014

The Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival opened at 5 p.m. Thursday, and will go on through Sunday night.

This is the fire department’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Come on by, even if it’s raining. There’s plenty of food and OH, don’t forget to buy your raffle tickets.

Orange Volunteer Firefighters Go Above And Beyond The Call of Duty

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Feb 192014

If you can't see the side arms, firefighters can't use it.

If you can’t see the side arms, firefighters can’t use it.

Last Saturday, members of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department gathered at the firehouse at 9 a.m.

They split into crews, took their assignments and went on Fire Hydrant Duty.

Each crew went around to different neighborhoods and cleared out fire hydrants that had been buried by the most recent snowfall — or had been covered by a passing snowplow.

In many cases the hydrants were located directly in front of someone’s home, but had never been cleared by the resident.

Here is a VIDEO of three firefighters shoveling out a hydrant on Route 34 directly in front of the CT DOT Garage.

They arrived and  immediately started working — 2 1/2 minutes later, the hydrant was cleared.

After a couple of hours of hydrant duty, the volunteer firefighters also responded to a couple of calls.

If you have a hydrant in front of your home, or near your property please take a few seconds, or minutes to clear around it when the snow goes up to or above the side arms where the firefighters need to attach the hoses. If they can’t get a wrench in to open it, then they can’t use it.


Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa’s Helper Today — Listen For The Sirens

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Dec 152013

A file photo from a previous Santa's Helper visit. Little Cindy Lou Who is probaby 8 years old now.

A file photo from a previous Santa’s Helper visit. Little Cindy Lou Who is probaby 8 years old now.

Santa didn’t want to disappoint any children (or their parents) so he dashed in from the North Pole and rallied the Orange Volunteer Firefighters to fire up the trucks and get out in the elements for the annual Santa’s Helper visits.

In what can be described as a pep rally in the bays at Station 2, the jolly old elf gave a spirited speech.

“I’ve been through worse than this,” Santa told them. “All the good little boys and girls are waiting. We can do it!”

Firefighter George Geane shouted “Ya! Let’s do this!”

All the other firefighters let out a hearty cheer!

Elf Mama gave the elves cookies so everyone could keep up their energy and she waved goodbye as they pulled away.


A Very Special Sept. 11 Presentation at Station 1

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Sep 122012

Firefighter Jeff Muir, artist Marissa Barletta, Chief Charlie Gagel, artist Taylor Vogt and firefighter Jake Pollock during the Sept. 11 presentation at Station 1.

Sept. 11 is a bittersweet day for every fire department across the country, and the Orange Volunteer Fire Department is no different.

On Tuesday evening during its regular meeting at Station 1, Chief Charlie Gagel called for a moment of silence to remember all their fallen brothers: 343 firefighters and paramedics died in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.

To further commemorate the 11th anniversary of 9/11, the department received a beautiful gift.

Some firefighters responded to a fire alarm call and then Gagel called to one of the firefighters and two guests to make the presentation.

Taylor Vogt, who is dating Orange Volunteer Firefighter Jake Pollock, and her friend, Marissa created a special custom work of art for the department to display.

About Taylor

“I started off as a art history major at Wheaton College in Norton MA, and then transferred to Paier College of Art in Hamden where I am currently studying graphic design,” Taylor said. “While I was at Wheaton I met Jake Pollock through mutual friends. Since we started dating two and a half years ago, I witnessed Jake go through training and interviews to become a Volunteer Fireman for the Orange Fire Department. There is so much hard work and dedication that he has to go through every day and I knew I would like to show my appreciation for what him and all of the members of the Orange Fire Department do.”

About the drawing

“When my best friend Marissa (also from Paier), and I were given the Drawing assignment to create a mural of a car or portrait, I knew that I would love to draw one of their older fire trucks, Engine 1,” she said.

“As Marissa and I discussed our possibilities, she too had personal experiences with family members who were Firemen. Her uncle was the Fire Marshal for the Hamden Fire Department for years and her cousin is currently a Lieutenant in Hamden,” Taylor explained. “We quickly decided that Engine 1 would be perfect for us to spend months drawing because we had people close to our hearts who were firemen. Once we finished our semester long drawing of Engine 1, we knew that we would want to donate it to the Orange Fire Department to show our appreciation for all that they do.”

Her boyfriend Jake and fellow firefighter Jeff Muir built a custom frame for the drawing and completed it in time for the Sept. 11 meeting.