Local residents and visitors depend on the area’s fire companies day in and day out for the safety of their friends, family and loved ones. That protection relies heavily on community involvement, especially through volunteer companies. And the Roxana Volunteer Fire Company was able to capitalize on a major donation made by a lifetime member – a contribution that will help them serve the community into the future.
Russell J. Shockley was a lifetime member of the RVFC, of which he was very proud. At his passing nearly three years ago, he left a considerable donation with the company, which was used to help the department expand.
“We found that he left the fire company a generous donation after he passed,” said the company’s vice president, Todd Marvel. “We wanted to do something that honored him, but also something that the public could see and benefit from.”
On June 16, the company unveiled the Russell J. Shockley building, located directly behind the station’s headquarters on Zion Church Road. The new building will serve as additional storage for apparatus and equipment as needed by the company.
Shockley’s family, the RVFC Ladies Auxiliary, members of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce and state Rep. Gerald Hocker were all in attendance at the unveiling last week.
“This is a great asset to our company,” Marvel added. “The additional room for storage will make it easier and more convenient for us to operate, and naming the building after Mr. Shockley recognizes what he did for the company.”
Shockley devoted more than 25 years to the company. He was employed by Cargil/Mountaire as a weigh-master for many years. The Roxana Volunteer Fire Company, which dates back to the late 1950s, currently has about 55 members.
“As our community grows,” said Marvel, “we also need to grow. This building will help us serve the community.”