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Firefighters Reception shows meaning of community

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Apple Blossom queen designate Jazz Dorsett, 20, and her escort Chandler Walker, 18, of Winchester, peek inside the firefighters reception. Rich Cooley/Daily

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Lloyd Winters, director of the firefighters parade and president of the Clearbrook Volunteer Fire Department, snaps photos during the Firefighters Reception. Rich Cooley/Daily

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Former NFL standout Tony Dorsett autographs a football helmet for Robert Strosnider, 51, of Winchester during the firefighters reception Thursday night at Greenwood Fire Hall in Winchester. Rich Cooley/Daily

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Gainesboro Volunteer firefighter Chris Cunningham stands beside the 911 flag displayed on their company fire apparatus outside Greenwood Fire Hall in Winchester Thursday evening during the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Firefighters Reception. Rich Cooley/Daily

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Apple Blossom queen designate Jazz Dorsett, 20, is escorted by Chandler Walker, 18, of Winchester, as the pair make their grand entrance to the Queens Dinner Thursday night at the Lee-Jackson Best Western in Winchester. Rich Cooley/Daily

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Apple Blossom queen designate Jazz Dorsett, 20, and her escort Chandler Walker, 18, of Winchester cut a slice out of the apple pie during the Queens Dinner. Rich Cooley/Daily

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Apple Blossom queen designate Jazz Dorsett looks at her reflection inside a Tiffany apple during the Queens Dinner last night in Winchester. Rich Cooley/Daily

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William Henkel, CEO of Henkel Harris Furniture Company, presents a jewelry box to Apple Blossom queen designate Jazz Dorsett during the Queens Dinner on Thursday night in Winchester. Rich Cooley/Daily

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- Thursday night's Firefighter Reception wasn't just a chance for citizens to come out and enjoy themselves; it gave the area's firefighters an opportunity to relax and build camaraderie.

Firefighters from Winchester and surrounding jurisdictions, including Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren counties, came together at the Greenwood Fire and Rescue station for food, entertainment and fellowship.

This was the 80th reception for the area's firefighters. The Queen-designate, her family and entourage made appearances, along with the honorary fire chiefs.

Rick Patterson greeted people as they arrived. He serves as a volunteer firefighter for Stephen's City.

"I always wanted to be a firefighter, so after I retired I finally had the time to take it up," he said. "I'm very glad I made that decision."

As Frederick County's Fire and Rescue Association president, Timothy Price has been to his fair share of receptions. He's been a volunteer for 27 years, and said each year's reception is just as important as the last.

"It''s a good time for us all to get together and reminisce on the past year. It's nothing depressing, we're just having a good time," he said. "We're still on duty, though"

Price said it's also interesting to socialize with firefighters from other areas, like D.C.

"They have some impressive stories to tell, but we here in the valley have our challenges too," he said.

Dennis Linaburg, Frederick County Fire Chief, agreed that it's nice to get the firefighter community under one roof.

"Fire services are built around helping the community in a time of need, so its nice to get some acknowledgment for what they do," he said. "A lot of times when we're in the community, it's because of a tragedy, but this is about getting out and having a good time."

As for the weekend ahead, Linaburg said that each year presents a different challenge, but rescue personnel will stationed throughout the festival area.

In the Firefighters Parade today, the National 9/11 Flag will ride along with personnel. The flag was destroyed in the aftermath of the events on 9/11, but was eventually stitched back together.

It was also on display and guarded at Thursday night's reception.

"This is very special," Linaburg said. "I was at the the stitching ceremony earlier today, where folks had a chance to put a stitch in the flag that will eventually go to the 9/11 memorial."

"That was...well it was very touching," he said.


APPLE BLOSSOM=GLORIFICATION OF HUMANS. In many different ways. Do not let this fluff make you believe you are more than a monkey with pants.

HBTH, I'm wondering why every comment you make has to be so negative!!! Why make such a comment on an article about the Firefighter's Reception. YOU REALLY NEED TO GIVE IT A REST.

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