Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Yavneh kids thank their heroes

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

[IMAGE] First-graders Ryan Trager (left) and Max Guttman, both 6 years old, share smiles with Doug Morath, assistant fire chief for Sycamore Township, during a thank-you lunch at Yavneh Day School
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
SYCAMORE TWP. - In all his years of firefighting, Doug Morath was never asked for his autograph.

But Tuesday, the Sycamore Township assistant fire chief was asked to sign the socks of children at Yavneh Day School.

"I've never been asked to sign a sock in my entire life,'' said Morath, of West Chester. "I held up a stinky sock and it already had 10 signatures on it. One of them even asked me to sign their shirt.''

Morath and firefighters from Sycamore, Madeira-Indian Hill, Deer Park-Silverton and Montgomery were invited to a Firehouse Chili luncheon in appreciation of their efforts to put out an electrical fire at the school two weeks ago.

Each department was given a large thank-you message that students had signed. Because of the firefighters' quick response, damage was confined to one classroom.

"We talked and we ate. It was good cake,'' said 6-year-old Ryan Trager, who sat with Morath.

Morath said he and the other firefighters sat with the children and answered questions about their jobs, as well as signing autographs.

"They had a million questions,'' Morath said.

The signing of the socks began after first-grader Emily Fishman asked one of the firefighters to sign her cast. Nearby students without casts pulled their socks off to be signed.

But not Ryan. "I guess I just forgot,'' Ryan said.

"It was a real all-American celebration of heroes,'' said Barbara Rabkin, Yavneh's development director. "There was a lot of red, white and blue and the kids made fire hats to wear out of red paper.''


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