By Kristena Schutt-Moore Special to the Echo
Published Jan. 28 2020
The firefighters from Highlands East’s Station 2 took over the Highlands Grove Community Centre on Saturday Jan. 18 but they weren’t there for training or to fight a fire.
The volunteer firefighters and their families were cooking up breakfasts in the hall’s kitchen raising more than $2000 for the Normandeau-Hennessey family who lost their house to an electrical fire on Dec. 9 on Cooney Road in Highland Grove.
After the fire Station 2 volunteers met for their regular Friday night meeting they decided to pitch in together and help out the family. A GoFundMe webpage www.gofundme.com/f/hys9ad-please-help-house-fire-victims was already set up and the volunteers pooled some of their fundraising money some even donated their pay slips from the night of the fire and came up with $500 for the page. They then thought they could do one better.
Other fire stations throughout Highlands East and the volunteers’ families pitched in and together they put on a large breakfast on Jan. 18 including bacon sausage scrambled eggs pancakes with local maple syrup toast and coffee tea and juice.
The Normandeau-Hennessey family – Ryan Bobbiejoe Braedon and Justice – were also at the breakfast and they expressed their thanks to everyone who came and helped out. “It’s amazing how the whole community comes together when a catastrophe like this happens” says Ryan. “You just never think it will happen to you.”
The family says that they aren’t even close to ready to rebuild the house yet. Currently they are living with Ryan’s parents except for Braedon who is living with his father. Their pets are also scattered throughout the area living with friends and family for now.
Justice explained “It’s difficult. I now have to go to Centre Hastings Secondary School because of where we are living so I have to leave all my friends.” Braedon was able to remain in North Hastings High School because he was living with his dad within the school’s catchment area.
Both the family and the firefighters want to thank the volunteers and community businesses that helped support the breakfast and made it possible including Wilberforce Foodland No Frills Bancroft Zehr’s Bancroft Tim Hortons Bancroft Soloways Hotdog Factory and Sucie Sugar Bush.
Thanks to the community support the GoFundMe page had reached $1800 of the $7000 goal at the time of printing. Those interested in contacting the Normandeau-Hennessey family are welcome to reach Bobbiejoe on her Facebook page or email them at Bobbiejoenormandeauhennessey@hotmail.com.