A dance to benefit campers

Published: Thursday, January 27, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 at 11:11 p.m.


Fifth Annual Firefighter's Ball

  • What: Fifth annual Firefighter's Ball, a dinner, dance and silent auction to benefit a summer camp for children and teen burn survivors.
  • When: 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4.
  • Where: Reitz Union Ballroom on t

  • Dance the night away and bid on auction items of your choice and help send young burn survivors to summer camp in the Panhandle for a week.
    The Fifth Annual Firefighter's Ball, sponsored by the Gator Fire Council, will be held from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4 at the J. Wayne Reitz Union Ballroom on the University of Florida campus.
    There will be a silent auction beginning at 5:30 p.m., a buffet dinner at 7 p.m. followed by music and dancing. Advance tickets are $40 per person and $50 at the door.
    Proceeds will help send pediatric and teen burn survivors to Camp Amigo July 10-16.
    State run and fully handicapped accessible, Camp Amigo is located at William Riis State Park in the Florida Panhandle.
    Tom Gallagher, chief financial officer of the state of Florida, will be the keynote speaker.
    And according to Nettie Maguire, chairman of the ball, there will be a presentation featuring the camp and the Southeast Burn Foundation.
    "It is a wonderful event and it keeps on growing," said Maguire. This year, the ball was moved to the Reitz Union to accommodate all the people who are expected to attend.
    Items to be auctioned off include gift certificates from businesses such as Rub-A-Dub-Dub Cleaning Service and City Auto Repair, specialty gift baskets and a basketball signed by UF basketball coach Billy Donovan, as well as items donated by State Attorney Bill Cervone and other individuals.
    Jean M. LeMire, health and safety officer for Alachua County Fire Rescue, said the burn survivors who attend Camp Amigo are between the ages of 7-18.
    Last year, 30 children were in attendance, but there is a capacity for 50. The children are selected through recommendations, and many of them return each year.
    Each child is assigned a "burn buddy" at the camp, where the staff includes firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, nurses, physical therapists, doctors and adult burn survivors.
    The kids enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, water and amusement parks, and a presentation on search dogs. The week culminates with a dance.
    For ticket information or to learn how to become a corporate sponsor, call (352) 377-2157.

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