BBQ eating contest to raise money for first-responders’ monument

(Photo by Christopher Page)

A group of Saugerties first-responders want to memorialize not just Jack Rose, a 19-year-old Mount Marion fire department captain who died in the line of duty in 2015, but all first responders who gave their lives making their communities safer. The newly-formed Jack Rose Fallen First Responders Committee is kicking off its fundraising efforts with a “rib rally” this weekend, where teams will go head-to-head with teams from local fire outfits, the sheriff’s department and Ulster County corrections officers to scarf down rib dinners in record time.

The event kicks off at the Texas Roadhouse, 500 Miron Lane in the Town of Ulster, this Saturday, Sept. 14 at noon; accompanying the sounds of hasty eating will be the Paul Luke Band and other accompanying groups. A fleet of emergency trucks will be parked outside for children to admire and games will be laid out. For a $5 raffle ticket, attendees can enter for a shot at $1,000 donated by Bob Siracusano of Sawyer Motors.

Firefighters from the Mount Marion, Centerville-Cedar Grove, Saxton/Asbury-Katsbaan and Saugerties village fire departments collaborated to devise a working design for the memorial; they hope to raise funds for the project before June 2021 so that it can be unveiled at the 2021 Hudson Valley Fire Convention, which will be hosted in Saugerties. “The design is in process,” said Saugerties Fire Department 2nd Lieutenant Stan O’Dell, president of the committee. “It will be some form of a granite memorial. What we’re looking at is potentially life-size statutes representing all of the emergency services. We would have the fire, the police and the EMS. We discussed having the police with a K-9 as well. We would have all the services represented. It would be in the form of an octagon, and it’s going to be up at Cantine Field. There will be a pathway leading off of the veterans’ memorial so there will be a natural pathway.”

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Those interested in purchasing tickets for a meal, which cost $10, or to register a rib-eating team for $100 can email mivino@centervillefiredistrict.com. Nearly 250 tickets have been distributed thus far. The $10 dinner tickets can be used at a later date before Oct. 14 and proceeds will still go toward the cause. Twenty percent of all of the day’s proceeds at the Texas Roadhouse will go toward the charity effort, as will 100 percent of beer sales.

“You have no idea, hopefully you have no idea ever of how much this means to me,” said Gary Rose, father of Jack Rose, at a committee meeting for the event this week. “I can’t believe all the time you guys dedicate to this. To you, he’s your brother and to me he’s still my boy, and to see all of you do all of this and dedicate all of this time and effort if amazing to me. I don’t know if you’re aware but I’ll tell you, Jack was born on Friday the 13th of September, and the next day you guys are having a party for him. This means more than you could ever, ever imagine.”

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