Spanelli recognized for years of service to community

It was a surprise dinner for Pete Spanelli as the Bald Eagle Fire Company recognized him for all his years of service to the community and getting the company organized in its beginning days.
At a banquet held last evening, a plaque was presented to Spanelli, and it reads:
Special recognition for your tireless time and dedication to the Bald Eagle Volunteer Fire Company.
PETE \”Poncho\” Spanelli
As a founder of the fire company you have served as chief, head chef and to this day President. Under your leadership you have brought the company from the back of a garage to the new building. You have guided the fire company from a 49 Dodge pumper to a new Pumper, Pierce Tanker, Dodge Brush Truck, EMS/First Respond Vehicle and a State of the Art Crimson Rescue/Pumper truck.
You were recognized and used by many groups for your excellence in the preparation and the serving of many meals. You also gave your time in preparing meals for other organizations to help them with their fund raisers.
Presented to you on November 14, 2006. From the Knuckleheads who thank and love you.
The following is a poem that Bald Eagle Fire Chief Scott Illig\’s daughter wrote:
With you there to lend a hand we were able to get a head start / So we would like to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts / As the years go by we will look back and kindly remember you/ Your kindness we never forget as it helped to pull us through.
At the banquet, Scott Illig, said, “Pete has given so much to the community and expects so little back. He believed in our community as I did with my business. There are good people here. We can make a difference and grow together. Not just the fire hall, but the church, grange hall and the sportsman, Pete is involved in all of these. You say Bald Eagle and all you think of is Pete Spanelli. There is not a bad thing that anyone can say about Pete. Anyone who knows him, knows that he would do anything for anyone. He is a small man with a big heart. He is an inspiration to many. Even when he is sick, he doesn\’t think of himself and puts off going to the doctor because he has other things to do. He believes the community is more important than his health. Pete puts a smile on everyone\’s face.”
Vicki Bell said, “It is so nice to see everyone here to celebrate this wonderful man. A little history of the Bald Eagle Volunteer Fire Company. Back in 1974 a group of men had a dream and after numerous phone calls and trips to Harrisburg, their dream became a reality. Meetings were held at the Bald Eagle Grange Hall to recruit members. In 1976, the company was incorporated with 220 members. On May 29, 1979 they had a ground breaking for the new fire hall. The men present were Leonard Miller, Mike DeArmitt, Bob Gummo, Ed Lehman, Clair Sharer, Ed Parks and Pete Spanelli.
“Pete was the fire chief. He drove a 1948 Dodge fire truck which they bought from Alexandria for $2,000 fully loaded. So many people have come and gone, but there has always been one constant, and that is Pete. Someone said that there wouldn\’t be a fire hall without Pete, how true that is.
“About five or six years ago, Pete quit making fire calls, but he is always nearby to lend a hand. He is always doing something at the fire hall. I have been involved with the fire hall around 25 years on and off and have always had the pleasure working with Pete.
“I love you, Pete, and have the utmost respect for you.”
Spanelli was also presented with a large framed picture of the Bald Eagle Fire Company\’s new fire engine by Illig.
Also, Shirley and Martin Starr were recognized for their untiring support of the Bald Eagle Fire Company at the banquet held at the Warriors Mark Fire Hall Tuesday night.
A full course turkey dinner was enjoyed prior to the awards presentation ceremony.