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Fire Station 9 campaign is personal

By Sally Ricchiuti

La Jolla resident

Our parents always taught us it is better to give than receive — something I didn’t get so much as a child. I wished for a pony and prayed each night for one. Fast forward 32 years and they were right!

It is far better to give back, to do right for this community, to praise this Jewel for the opportunity of growing up in this town. As I approach my 40th birthday, it is high time that I — we — step up and give back and THAT is the exact reason why my family is more than proud to lead the Give in Kind to Station #9 campaign.

The first time in the station, I was overwhelmed with the feeling that I was brought there for a reason — to drop off signs of praise for their tremendous efforts in the Witch Creek fire. I made myself a promise that once my leg was healed (10 surgeries, four to go), I would tackle the renovation campaign with honor and courage. I say courage because I am the first to admit that I am no professional fund-raiser; I’m just a very grateful individual, mindful of what our local heroes do each and every day on our behalf.

We all know where we were on Sept. 11, 2001. We watched, horrified as our fire personnel ran in while others ran out. On a personal note, this community lost a local hometown gentle giant, Brent Woodall, who went down in the second tower.

He was a son, husband, brother, friend and father to be. His daughter Pierce Woodall and Tracy (Brent’s widow), along with the rest of us, continue to keep his memory alive. It is Brent that I dedicate this effort to.

My goal, our goal, as I sincerely hope the community jumps on board, is to raise $500,000 to remodel and re-energize Station 9. The campaign is something that will provide our first responders with a proper home away from home. It is far overdue.

I invite you to join me at open houses to tour the station starting March 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. Bring the family, come see for yourself what the conditions are like, meet this team of individuals who in such a short time have become like family.

Join me, be a part of this, take pride in taking care of our firefighters/first responders. I give you my word you will walk away filled with purpose and a sense of doing your part. For more on the campaign, go to www.kindtonine.org.