HOPS Ambulance Hosts Annual Banquet
HOPS Ambulance Association members (from left) Curtis Jacobs, Carl and Jackie Whitehead and Gail and Charlie Dull received plaques acknowledging five or more years of service to the company during a banquet held in Herrickville on April 2. HOPS serves Herrick, Orwell, Pike and Stevens Townships Photo by Rick HidukHOPS Ambulance Association members (from left) Sue Rought, Cheryl Keeney and Scott Keeney were among the servers at the organization’s April 2 banquet. Sue, Cheryl and Gail Dull (not pictured) prepared the meal, which was enjoyed by 60 guests, including members of neighboring emergency response units. Photo by Rick Hiduk
Approximately 60 members of the Herrick Orwell Pike Stevens (HOPS) Ambulance Association, as well as other emergency responders, gathered at the Herrickville Community Hall on April 4 for an appreciation banquet geared toward bringing drivers, techs, officers, directors, and additional supporters together to honor and poke some good-natured fun at each other.
“It’s a chance for us to show our appreciation for the members of the other agencies who work with us,” said master of ceremonies Carl Whitehead, who also serves HOPS as a director.
After Whitehead’s opening remarks and a reading of “An E.M.T. Prayer,” the Rev. Jason Laudermilch of Herrickville Wesleyan Church provided the invocation. Guests then enjoyed a pork dinner that included boiled potatoes, baked corn, and both pickled and deviled eggs prepared by HOPS members.
After the meal, Whitehead introduced a number of guests and thanked those in attendance who have helped with the preparation and sale of pit-roasted chicken during the past year. “One of the things that HOPS is well-known for and proud of is our chicken barbecues,” Whitehead announced, noting that more than 3,000 dinners were sold last year. Chicken barbecues have been a staple fundraiser for HOPS since it was formed in 1976.
Before moving on to the more serious honors and citations, Whitehead took a few minutes to lampoon a few longtime members of the organization for misadventures during the past year that they might rather have forgotten. HOPS vice president Fred Travis, for example, received a “redneck wheel chuck”—a hunk of firewood—for accidentally popping the hood release instead of the brake release as we was about to pull away from a steep hill with a patient on board. He accepted the award with a good sense of humor, though he proclaimed that it wasn’t he who set the parking brake to begin with.
Whitehead and HOPS first-year president Sue Rought distributed pins and plaques to officers and ambulance squad members who were marking milestones with the organization. Carl and Jackie Whitehead received plaques for 30 and 35 years of service, respectively. Charlie and Gail Dull both received plaques for 10 years of service, and Curtis Jacobs was honored for five years of service. First-year pins were awarded to a number of members, including some who have been with HOPS for two or more years. Rought explained that the belated acknowledgements were a result of not having a banquet last year due to HOPS members being so busy with the opening of their new ambulance garage.
Carl Whitehead also cited the Dulls for completing training about new technology for electronic record keeping and implementing the information with fellow crew members. He thanked Scott Keeney for donating time and equipment for the ambulance garage and treasurer Jim Seipler for wiring the lights in the building, which, Whitehead noted, represented a large savings to the organization.
In addition to HOPS members, representatives from Rome, Windham, LeRaysville, and Herrickville Fire Companies and Windham and Memorial EMS were among the winners of a variety of door prizes that included coin collections, a model tractor, T-shirts, a tool set, plants and flowers, newspaper subscriptions, a folding sports chair, handcrafted birdhouses, and numerous gift certificates for meals, products, and services that were donated by area businesses.
HOPS secretary Cheryl Keeney expressed her gratitude to the large number of Wyalusing-area businesses that were represented by a prize cache of more than 60 items. HOPS, Keeney noted, is a back-up emergency response organization for Wyalusing.
After the last of the prizes were distributed, guests enjoyed cake, coffee, and punch as they were serenaded by karaoke disc jockey Andy Boardman, who told some jokes and sangs classic hits like “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” and “The Wonder of You.”
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