Ethan Zhou, 5, of Troy, douses the flames at Fire Station 1 Oct. 7 during the Troy Fire Department open house, which was held in recognition of National Fire Prevention Week Oct. 7-13.

Ethan Zhou, 5, of Troy, douses the flames at Fire Station 1 Oct. 7 during the Troy Fire Department open house, which was held in recognition of National Fire Prevention Week Oct. 7-13.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


Firefighters memorial picks up steam in Troy

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published October 9, 2018

 T.J. Buffett, 5, of Royal Oak, and dad Tim check out the handles to operate the hoses.

T.J. Buffett, 5, of Royal Oak, and dad Tim check out the handles to operate the hoses.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

TROY — For a number of years, Troy Fire Chief Dave Roberts and others have wanted to honor deceased firefighters. 

“We talked about doing a project, (a) firefighters memorial, on and off for a number of years,” Roberts said. “We focused our efforts last year and formed a committee with volunteers from each of the fire stations.” 

The Troy Fire Department comprises a handful of paid staff and mostly volunteers who are certified by the state of Michigan, are on call 24/7 and continually train. 

The monument, which is estimated to cost more than $100,000, got two big boosts last week when Roberts accepted a $7,100 donation from 100 Women Who Care and $5,000 from the Troy Firefighters Women’s Auxiliary. 

 According to its website, 100 Women Who Care-Troy is a “group of women who are interested in supporting our Troy community, and southeast Michigan, by contributing to local nonprofit charities together, as a unit, to increase the impact of our donation.”

Nancy Hauff said via email that she and Julie McClure, Sharon Spagnola, Mary Lou Levy and Karen Gates founded the organization in June of 2016. 

“Members of our organization meet quarterly to submit nominations for 501(c)(3) charities in need of support. 100 Women Who Care-Troy has donated over $54,000 to charities including Judson Center, Gianna House, Returning Vets Home, Stage Troy Nature Center, Troy Police Honor Guard and Troy Rotary,” she stated.

“I saw an article in the Troy Today magazine requesting support for the Troy Firefighters Community Fund. In addition to their desire to build a memorial honoring firefighters in Firefighters Park, this group takes children holiday shopping and prepares kits for victims of home fires. As a long-term resident of Troy, I saw the need to support our firefighters, especially with the majority of them serving our community as volunteers. The other members of 100 Women Who Care-Troy agreed,” she continued.

Former Troy Mayor Jeanne Stine, chair of the Troy Firefighters Women’s Auxiliary, explained that the group has planted trees in memory of deceased firefighters in Firefighters Park, located at 1800 W. Square Lake Road, east of Coolidge Highway.

The Troy Firefighters Women’s Auxiliary, according to the city website, “is comprised of wives and significant others of Troy firefighters, as well as other women who have a special interest in this activity.”

In the past, the group would provide support to firefighters at incidents in the form of refreshments and would work to provide care kits to families who had suffered fires and could not stay in their homes. 

Stine explained that the American Red Cross has taken over these duties. 

Public Works Director Kurt Bovensiep confirmed that the city approved a site at Firefighters Park at the north end, near the lake, for the monument.

“It’s a fitting place for it, in honor of the firefighters,” Roberts said. “Everything’s in place. Now we are trying to raise the funds.” 

Roberts said the rendering for the memorial is 99 percent complete and was created by volunteer firefighters who have architectural backgrounds. 

There is $100,000 for the memorial in the budget, and it is estimated to cost more than that. The request for proposals will go out in the coming months. 

“We want it to be nice, and we want it to last,” Roberts said. “It will be well worthwhile.” 

He noted that the memorial trees are difficult to maintain. 

“We thought a more permanent memorial would be fitting and supplement what’s there,” Roberts said. 

To see a depiction of the firefighters memorial or to donate, visit the city’s website at troymi.gov. Under “Departments,” click “Fire Department,” then “Troy Firefighters Women’s Auxiliary.”

For more information on 100 Women Who Care, visit 100women whocare-troy.org.  

Donations can be made in care of the Troy Firefighters Community Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, for which your donation is eligible for a tax deduction. Send donations to the Troy Firefighters Community Fund, c/o the Troy Fire Department, 500 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48084.