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Monthly Mug
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East End Beach - Tent setup up at 5am

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2002 Boathouse Project

Burn Foundation Summer Camp
Boathouse Project 2002

Portland Professional Fire Fighters Donate Time And Effort To Rebuild Children’s Burn Camp


[See Photos of the Construction]

As 15 members of The Portland Professional Fire Fighters packed up their gear and donated materials to head to the Children’s Burn Camp in Union CT, another 17 men and women donated their time to cover the shifts for their fellow fire fighters as they work to create a camp for young burn victims throughout New England. The annual effort is sponsored by the Portland Fire Fighters Children’s Burn Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization started by members of the Local 740. The camp is the creation of Art Luff, a retired Bridgeport CT firefighter and President of The Connecticut Burns Care Foundation.

Headed by David “Rico” Petruccelli, one of five board members of the Children’s Burn Foundation, the crew built a new boathouse over Memorial Day weekend. “This is a labor of love" said Petruccelli. "We want to build a camp where kids from 8 to 18 can come for a week in the summer, have fun and forget about their problems for awhile.” Helping to build the 14 x 18 foot structure were Mike Walker, Bob Pinder, John Joyce, Rich Merrill, Bob Stewart, Tim Flahery, Bob Mctigue, Tim Kane, Dave Kenney, Kevin McGuire, Greg Cass, Dean Berry, Randy Stewart, David Petruccelli, Rick O'Brion and a friend of the firefighters, Portland resident Dave Cody. Rick's teenage son Danny and his friend Kyle also helped around camp mowing, raking and cleaning up leaves.

The camp is a former Boy Scout camp on the Connecticut/Massachusetts border that had fallen into disrepair over the past 10 years. The Children’s Burn Camp, which has been in operation for 11 years, moved into the camp in 1998. Previously, it had been leasing a portion of a YMCA camp for it’s one week of operation.

This is the Portland Professional Fire Fighters fourth year working at helping to rebuild the camp. The hope is that with more donations of money, and more importantly, time, the camp can expand to offer more than just one week each summer. “It takes a considerable amount of staff to host 45 kids," said Petruccelli, also a counselor at the camp. "From cooks to counselors, it’s a big volunteer effort from everyone involved, but we all do it for the kids.”

In addition to the effort and time donated by the Portland Professional Fire Fighters, The Children’s Burn Foundation also solicited donations from a number of area businesses: Rufus Deering, Bruno’s, Pat’s Meat Market, Maine Hardware and Rockingham Electric all donated equipment or provided materials at cost to help the reconstruction of the camp.