Community briefs 4/11/19

Clay Today
Posted 4/10/19

411 Realty Group adopts firefighters’ Hoods For Heroes programORANGE PARK – An Orange Park-based real estate broker has committed to Adopt A Firefighter with Hoods For Heroes with every …

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Community briefs 4/11/19


411 Realty Group adopts firefighters’ Hoods For Heroes program

ORANGE PARK – An Orange Park-based real estate broker has committed to Adopt A Firefighter with Hoods For Heroes with every home they sell to a first responder. Owner Rachel Mateo of 411 Realty Group said the company also participates in the Homes For Heroes home buying program, which helps first responders with their home purchases.

“I choose to help support Hoods For Heroes as I believe these guys risk their lives for us on a daily basis, and this is the least I can do for them,” Mateo said. “I have been in Clay County for 18 years, and I have agreed to adopt a fire fighter for every responder who buys or sells a home through my brokerage, in addition to the Homes for Heroes program rewards.”

The Homes For Heroes program recently donated $500 to the family of Jeremy McKay, as part of the 12 Miracles of Christmas program the real estate agency runs every year. McKay, a married father of three and a Clay County firefighter, recently learned he has Stage 4 Cancer at just 44 years old. Cancer is epidemic among firefighters and is the reason that Hoods For Heroes was created. The non-profit organization raises funds to provide firefighters with specialized hoods that prevent cancerous chemicals from reaching the skin of firefighters.

Mateo regularly supports local firefighters, including a weekly breakfast she hosted in Oakleaf last November and gifts she has given during the year.

“One in three firefighters is at risk for cancer,” said Jeff Rountree, CEO and co-founder of Hoods For Heroes. “This is an epidemic among our first responders, and it is heart-warming to see local business owners like Rachael responding to their need.”

“Each of the hoods costs $125,” said Bill Hamilton, President and co-founder of Hoods for Heroes. “As many as 60 percent of firefighters across the U.S. are volunteers, and many departments are strapped for cash, so it is difficult for them to provide these protective hoods. Hoods For Heroes is working with businesses and people all across the U.S. to pay for these hoods so we can protect the lives of those who put their own lives on the line for us.”

Founded in 2018 in Orange Park, Florida, Hoods For Heroes is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency. It began by donating particulate hoods to firefighters in Northeast Florida and has expanded throughout Florida and the U.S.

(CUTLINE: Hoods for Heroes’ Jeff Roundtree (left) accepts the first hood donated by Bill Hamilton.)

Clay Emergency Management looking for displays, partners for Touch-A-Truck

ORANGE PARK – The Clay County Division of Emergency Management will be partnering with the Orange Park Mall to host the fourth annual “Clay Prepares, Touch a Truck” event on May 18th from a.m. to 1 p.m.

This event will allow our various government and private sector partners to bring response vehicles, heavy equipment and other unique vehicles for local children to see and interact with. We will also have areas where agencies that do not have vehicles or apparatus can set up tents and tables to share information with the public. This will be an all hazards preparedness event specifically targeting area families and children. Please note that the first two hours of this event will be a horn and noise-free period in order to accommodate families who have children and/or adults with special needs. At 11:15 a.m., we will have a band post the flag and play the National Anthem.

A highlighted topic at this year’s event will be information concerning summer activities for local children. Agencies will be on hand to provide parents and caregivers information concerning programs, functions and gatherings which will be available over the summer months. To register for a display in this event, the Division of Emergency Management will need the following information: agency name; point of contact person with telephone number and email address; and, the type of display – vehicle display, or tent display only (if you have vehicles, you may have a small canopy at your display). If you have a vehicle display, I will need to know the type of vehicles and approximate size of the vehicles in length and width. This info is needed to optimize the space we have for the event.

For further information, call (904) 541-2767.


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