Firefighters, deputies raise $35,000 for disaster relief

People in Central Kitsap showed their solidarity with rescue workers in New York this weekend, to the tune of $35,000.Or $35,869, to be exact.That's how much money Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue firefighters and Kitsap County Sheriff's deputies collected Saturday and Sunday at two Silverdale locations.It went very well, the money is still filtering in, said Brian Danskin, CKFR firefighter and president of Local 2819 of the International Association of Firefighters.The firefighters and deputies took up posts outside the Safeway and Target stores in Silverdale. They collected money to send to firefighters involved in the rescue efforts at the World Trade Centers, where more than 4,000 people still are missing.The money will buy flashlights, batteries and plastic boots with metal toes for firefighters going into the asbestos-contaminated wreckage.A fire truck parked in the northeast corner of the Target lot bore an American flag, flying from the half-raised ladder.The collection at the Target store was even more special because Target never, ever allows solicitation on its property, said Loren Loftus, president of the auxiliary of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1 and a coordinator for the fundraiser.Target embraced us, it was absolutely incredible, said Danskin.People were reaching into their wallets and (placing) a stack of $100 bills into the bags. Target employees had to come out several times and get change from us because they were running out of bills, he said.Several children donated their life savings, hoarded in piggy banks.One 13-year-old girl gave her entire piggy bank she'd been saving since age 2. She said to her parents, 'I don't need this. Let it go to families in New York,' Danskin said. She gave $85.83, her life savings.Kids 4, 5, 6 and 7 years old were coming up and breaking open their piggy banks and dumping the money in, he said.It gives you an idea of the attitude of people around here from the way they were giving, Danskin said.Those who missed the weekend fundraiser can drop off checks at local fire stations. Checks should be payable to the New York Firefighter 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund. Donations also can be sent to P.O. Box 65858, Washington, D.C. , 20035-5858.

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