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Posted: Saturday, September 29th 2012 at 10:36pm

Community rallying for Habersham County firefighter

By Rob Moore Editor
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Habersham County Fire Lt. Matt Ruark
CLARKESVILLE – The Habersham County community is coming together to support one who has given to it on a daily basis for years.

Lt. Matt Ruark, Habersham County firefighter, is out of work following complications from a virus and can’t perform regular duty until February.

To help him, Habersham County and Tallulah Falls fire departments are hosting a barbecue chicken plate fundraiser beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.

The event, which will be held at Habersham County Fire Department Station 9, located at 4264 Hollywood Highway, Clarkesville, will feature plates that include barbecue chicken, baked beans, coleslaw and bread for $8.

Also on sale that day will be quarts of Jimmy Yon’s “nearly world famous” Brunswick stew for $8, said Firefighter Brandon Holcomb, an organizer of the event.

Tickets are available at all Habersham County paid fire stations (9 on Hollywood Highway, 12 on Duncan Bridge Road, 14 on Camp Creek Road, 16 on Highway 17 near Amy’s Creek Road).

“Ruark will be out at least six months,” Holcomb said. “We want to do this to help him out with expenses during this time.”

Ruark said he is touched by the support he has received since his medical emergency.

“I would like to thank everyone who has helped me the past few weeks, from co-workers, family and someone very near and dear to my heart helping me with my I.V. – I fought with it every day,” Ruark said. “My father Clark Ruark for getting me to where I need to go, helping my keep doctor appointments in order, ‘cause we know I’m no good with remembering dates. I love you, Dad, and thank you so much!”

“I do want to go ahead and send a very special thank you to everyone who is helping, has donated something for the benefit, or just plans to buy some chicken or stew,” Ruark said. “I won't lie – I ordered eight quarts of stew the other day because this stuff doesn’t come around often.”

He said he appreciates the support of everyone, whether he knows them or not.

“I look at the event page on Facebook and at the names of the people going,” Ruark said. “There are a few names I don’t know personally and of course many that I know real well through public safety. That’s one thing I love about my job is having this really big family; they are always here for you through thick and thin. You can’t help but love it.”

“But again to everyone, I want to say thank you to each and every person who has helped in any part of this, whether it be assisting with the benefit, helping me with the at-home I.V., getting me out of the house, or buying something at the barbecue,” Ruark said.

“Thank you to all my brothers and sisters at Habersham County and Tallulah Falls fire departments,” Ruark said. “Always remember, I’ve got your back, like my really big family has had mine.”

Organizers know there will be people who show up on Oct. 6 to purchase plates and stew while they last, but they ask as many people as possible to pre-order and pre-pay for their tickets.

Tickets and more information are available by calling Habersham County Fire Department at (706) 754-2822.
Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News

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