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Chili Cook-off Fundraiser Held For Granite Mountain Hotshots

Big Cypress National Preserve

National Park News

The tragedy of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters who died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona on June 30th hit home for many wildland firefighters working for the various federal, state and local governments of South Florida, and they felt compelled to help.

A chili cook-off fundraiser and Fire Education Day was held at the Golden Gate Fire Department in Naples, Florida, on July 20th. There were over 10 different types of chili to sample, fire education displays, arts and crafts, and a raffle.

Firefighters who coordinated and staffed the event were from Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Florida State Forest Service, and USDA Forest Service.

The Tarpon Bay Explorers, the official concession of the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, also decided to help and host a tandem fundraiser. The Explorers set out to get as many people as possible out on tours and rentals that day, so they could donate all the revenue to the same foundation. Jointly, the fundraising efforts generated over $11,000, which will be donated to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation.

The mission and main focus of the Wildland Firefighters Foundation is to help families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and to assist injured firefighters and their families.

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