An organization that has helped thousands of local residents over the years is now asking the public to help one of its members.
The Belmont Volunteer Fire Department is reaching out to the community in an effort to provide financial assistance to longtime member Gary "Gar" Schmitt, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The VFD is joining forces with Belmont United Methodist Church and Real Life Church to conduct a fundraiser on Saturday to help offset some of Schmitt's medical expenses.
"We are all well aware of the toll that a major medical event can create," organizers said. "Our goal ... is to join together to help 'Gar' with some of his expenses. We also want to show him how important and appreciated he is, as well as give him the moral and emotional support that he so much deserves."
Squad Captain Jeff Doty, who is helping to promote the event, said Schmitt has served the department for 32 years. In fact, he said the firefighter and EMT was just a teenager when he began his work with the VFD.
Schmitt has also served the community as a member of Belmont Village Council.
"Suffice it to say that 'Gar' has always been one to help others; it is now our turn, and duty, to help him," department members said in an appeal to potential donors.
A benefit lunch and dinner will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Belmont Gym.
Home-cooked meals - which include a choice of baked steak, cabbage rolls, ham or chicken and green beans, corn, hash brown casserole and several desserts - will be available for a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children.
That portion of the fundraiser will also feature a silent auction and raffles.
A golf scramble to benefit Schmitt will be held the same day at Crooked Creek Golf Course, located near Interstate 70 just outside of Belmont.
Four-person teams can register for the scramble with an entry fee of $50 per person, or $200 per team. The cost covers refreshments, prizes and a meal at the Belmont Gym. Registration on Saturday begins at 7 a.m. with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.
To sponsor a hole or register a team in advance, call Hal Miller at 740-359-2620 or the fire department at 740-484-1154.
For more information or to donate a prize, raffle or auction item, call Doty at 740-484-4049.