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Port Jervis Fireman Remembered in Holiday Tree Lighting

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

PORT JERVIS, NY - The annual lighting of a memorial Christmas tree brought dozens out to West End Memorial Park the first week of December. Despite the chilly temperature of the evening and falling rain, the atmosphere was friendly and warm as the holiday spirit was shared in the memorial city park.

Hosted by the Drew Family and Port Jervis Fire Department’s Excelsior Engine Co. #5, the memorial tree lighting takes place on the first tree ever planted in the park. That first tree was named in honor of Richard “Ricky” Drew, a longtime firefighter and lifelong organizer of parades in the area, including the annual Tri-State Chamber of Commerce Rick Drew Holiday Parade. Drew died suddenly on Sept. 10, 2011, and is remembered as a person who loved parades, loved the season of Christmas, and loved his community.

Mayor Kelly Decker, who is also a volunteer fireman, remembered Drew as one who would have enjoyed being at the annual tree lighting each year. He led those gathered in a countdown for the tree lighting, which the Drew Family carried out.

Following the tree lighting, refreshments were served across the street at Excelsior Engine Co. #5, Drew’s fire company.

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SHARON SIEGELSenior Correspondent

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