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The Bergen County Firemen's Home Association December Meeting and Christmas Party

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December 03, 2023 | NEW JERSEY JUSTIN WATREL, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

The Christmas spirit greeted us as we entered the NJ State Firemen's Home this December 3rd, 2023 with the festive Christmas tree at the entrance of the home. Signs of the season were everywhere as the home was decorated to the hilt for the holiday season. This was our last event of the season as the Bergen County Firemen's Home Association held its annual December meeting and entertainment afternoon at the NJ State Firemen's Home in Boonton, NJ.

We had our annual Christmas Party at the NJ State Firemen's Home and it was nice to be back. Masks were a thing of the past, and we were able to see everyone again. It made for a more engaging afternoon.

We started our day with a get-together of the members before the entertainment began. It was nice to just sit back and talk to the other members before the entertainment began. Our President brought us the most delicious crumb cake and glazed raison buns, and these were devoured very quickly by the members.

We even got a chance to bond again with the resident dog of the NJ State Firemen's Home, Wells, who was a former seeing eye dog that has now found a home here keeping our retired firefighters comforted and engaged. He walks around having everyone spoil him with petting and treats. Even he must watch his weight at the holidays. All I know is that he loves being loved by everyone and likes to spread that love.

We had several entertainers the afternoon of the party. The home had hired entertainers, Dana, and Daddy O, to entertain the residents with a selection of Christmas songs and cheer. That got the party started. Member Jerry Naylis asked his daughter and grandchildren to perform again this year (Jerry was away on a conference). Daughter Stephanie Naylis-Quirk and her daughters, Regan, and Riley Quirk, played the piano and sang to the residents of the home. The children sang lively Christmas songs and led the room in a sing-along with favorites "Jingle Bells" and Regan's solo, "Silent Night" and Riley's solo, "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus".

After the ladies took their bows, it was time to hand out the Christmas presents from the Bergen County Firemen's Home to the residents. This year, the gift to the residents of the home was a beautiful 'firemen' blue jacket that had each resident's name on it. It was a very personal and touching gift to our fellow retired firemen who we wanted to remember at the holidays. They were very touched by this.

While members were handing out gifts, other members were serving desserts and other refreshments to the residents. Everyone had a delicious treat that afternoon after they had their lunch. The home provided delectable cupcakes, both regular and sugar free, to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth.

After the day of entertainment was over, the members got together and took our annual member group shot. It was a fun afternoon for everyone involved. We have managed to provide the residents with all sorts of entertainment, barbecues and special events, while never losing the spirit of helping our fellow fire fighters.

Happy New Year everyone!

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JUSTIN WATRELCorrespondent

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