Under the vibrant vista the newly-completed fire department mural, more than 120 firefighters, their families, and guests socialized while enjoying seafood appetizers.
WVFD President Billy Taylor welcomed the evening’s guests and introduced Nathan France, Sharia Churchill and Ricky Wilkins who set the patriotic tone, offering their renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner,” “America,” and “I’m Proud to Be an American.”
After an invocation from WVFD Life Member, Ronnie Saunders, the buffet dinner began, followed by the evening’s program.
Guest Speaker, Pastor Randall Snipes from Oak Grove Baptist Church spoke of his appreciation for the volunteer firefighter brotherhood. Referencing the 683,000 such volunteers nationwide, he spoke of the volunteer-firefighter job as “dedication without limitation.”
He also offered praise to firefighter families, who often sacrifice other plans as they support their firefighter family member.
Next up, Montross Mayor, Joey King spoke of his long-standing professional association with the Montross WVFD, saying this fire department had done a wonderful job; the leadership had been enormous. Mayor King conducted the oaths-of-office to the 2020 elected and line officers.
WVFD Officers: Director Rhys Weakley; President, Billy Taylor; Vice President and Safety Officer, Ricky Landon; Secretary, Haley Yeatman; Treasurer, F.F. Chandler; Chief, Eddie Weston, and Director, Kim Harvey
WVFD Auxiliary Officers: Vice-President, Katy Holden; Secretary/Reporter, Cathy White; Chaplain, Sharon Reed; President and Director, Barbara Jean Jones; Treasurer, Elaine Saunders; Directors, Jane Kaye Sisson and Brenda Riley, and Reporter, Heather Hynson.
WVFD Line Officers: Chief, Eddie Weston; Asst.Chef 2B, Brandon Basar; Captain 21, Cavin Balderson Jr.; Captain 22, Allen Rouse; Chief Engineer, Billy Taylor, Deputy Chief 2A, Jay Hynson; Captain 5, Thomas Trader.
Chief Eddie Weston offered his observations about the family values demonstrated by fire-fighter families, pointing to the number of father-son firefighters and how those locally trained volunteers have branched out to paid firefighter and firefighter management possitions in jurisdictions such as Fredericksburg, King George, Spotslyvania, and Quantico.
For their longtime support of WVFD,Chief Weston recognized Barbara Saunders and Dallas Hayden as new honorary members. He presented his Chief’s award to Ricky Landon for his successful fundraising events. Chief Weston and President Taylor presented certificates and plaques: The five members who responded to the highest number of calls received plaques. Other members received certificates for their years of service – from those achieving 5 years of service to the top recipient, Les Sisson who attained 50 years service in 2019. In closing, Chief Weston called for the sounding of the “honor” bell followed by a moment of silence in memory of Ted Thomas and Max McKenney, members who passed on in 2019.
WVFD Auxiliary President, Barbara Jean Jones spoke of the mission of the 18-member auxiliary, which is to offer support to the WVFD.
This support is in the form of fundriaising events throughout the year, delivery of water and food to structure-fire scenes, and offering extended support to those fire-wrecked households.
WVFD Life Member, Billy Saunders offered the closing benediction.