In the wake of the Oct. 6 house fire that tore through the Woodbury home of retired firefighter Tom Richardson, some of his brethren are looking to lend a hand.
The recently formed Woodbury Fire Department Alumni Association is taking donations to assist the family.
Related: Blaze Burns Former Firefighter’s Home in Woodbury
Woodbury Patch asked Ladd Miller, president of the group, how people can help.
Patch: How can people donate?
Miller: At this time, only cash and gift card donations have been requested. (Gas cards, Kohl’s, JC Penny’s, food, etc.)
You can donate by mail to: Pat Edlund 7862 Forest Blvd, Unit E, Woodbury, MN, 55125. Please make your check payable to: “Pat Edlund – WFDAA” with “Richardson Family” in the memo line.
Drop off a donation in person this Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Afton Road Fire Station in Woodbury between 6 and 8 p.m.
Donations will also be accepted at the main Public Safety Building at 2100 Radio Drive during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday).
Patch: How is the Richardson family doing?
Miller: The family is doing well given the circumstances. They have good support from the department, family and friends providing everyday items, housing, and the daunting task of recovering some items from the home. However, the home and contents were a total loss and help is needed for the short term.
The Richardson family is synonymous with Woodbury’s Public Safety Department. Tom is a retired 20-year member and his father, Cal, was a founding member of the fire department in 1961.
Tom’s brothers—Dan and Mike—have also dedicated time to the department. Mike is the former fire chief and current Emergency Services commander for Woodbury Public Safety. Dan retired after 20 years of service with the fire department as well, giving the Richardson family nearly 100 years of combined service to the community.
Patch: What is the Woodbury Fire Department Alumni Association?
Miller: Organized in 2011, the Woodbury Fire Department Alumni Association is a group comprised of former Woodbury firefighters and their families.
A large part of our mission is to support all alumni, their families, and the current firefighters in times of need. A quarterly newsletter is published with historical information, interviews, a section to honor those who have passed, and current department events.
At this time, we are also working on partnerships with Metro CISD teams, V.E.R.T, and the Woodbury Public Safety Board.
Patch: Are there any future initiatives the group has mapped out?
Miller: The WFDAA sponsors an annual golf invite each year (July 2013, open to the public) and an annual picnic (September 2013) for alumni families and current Public Safety Employee’s. We are self-supportive via donations and funds raised from events and sponsors.
Patch: Anything else you'd like to add?
Miller: The family is very grateful to all those who have shown support over the few days since the fire. If there are any questions regarding this story or in regards to donations, I can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-295-9195.