On January 19, Ray Powanda, a Seaside Heights Firefighter, got the call that no one ever expects. His own house had caught fire, leaving him and his family displaced and losing most of their belongings.
Living in the home was Ray, his grandmother Ann Marie, his girlfriend Jailenne, and his roommate James. Ray has spent many years volunteering with the fire department and serving his community, and efforts have begun to help him overcome this tragic event.
I have often reiterated that Ortley beach is very well served by the Fire Department of Seaside Heights. Although Ortley Beach contributes approximately $500,000 in fire taxes to Toms River, Toms River in turn provides a token stipend of approximately $36,000 to the Fire Dept. of Seaside Heights for their assistance in providing coverage to Ortley Beach.
As most residents of Ortley Beach realize, the volunteers of the Seaside Heights Fire Company do a very capable job of providing almost 90 to 95 percent of the coverage needed by our community.
Under those circumstances, as I have suggested in the past, any requests for contributions from fire departments should be directed to Seaside Heights. With the recent events, and the plight of Fireman Ray Powanda, I would like to suggest that anyone considering making a donation to Ray Powanda can be assured that it will be very well received.
Any such donations made to Ray Powanda should be mailed to: The Seaside Heights Fire Dept., P.O. Box 38, Seaside Heights, NJ 08751.
Thank you very much for your consideration.
Chairman, Ortley Beach Liaison Committee
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