Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

The Excelsior Fire Hall and the Bellwood community served as the host for 112th Convention of the Central District Volunteer Firemen’s Association held August 19-21.
The Association represents 275 fire service organizations in 26 Pennsylvania counties, and membership totals more than 5,000 men and women.
Thursday began opening ceremonies, led by master of ceremonies, Tom Riley. The past presidents banquet was held at Trinity United Methodist Church with 100 percent attendance from the past presidents. Also included at the banquet was the Ladies Auxiliary presidents.
Friday continued the festivities, and the day began with a memorial service held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and was very well attended. Clergy were Reverend Father David Roesch and Reverend Barry Vance.
The business meeting was followed by the queen’s banquet and contest. The contest was opened with remarks from the president, Robert J. Whiteford. Ten contestants participated, and the results are as follows: queen, Maddie Gibbs of Bedford County; first runner-up, Rachel Houck of Huntingdon County and second runner-up, Ashley Procick of Alexandria.
The battle of the barrel was held at 3 p.m. The results are as follows: first place, Cresson; second place, Jackson Township and third place Dauntless of Ebensburg. Ending the day’s activities was the comic parade. The results are as follows: first place, Reliance; second place, Logan of Bellefonte and third place, Friendship of Roaring Springs.
Saturday was also a full day of fun. The pumping contest was held in the morning. The results are as follows: first place, Dauntless of Ebensburg; second place, Hastings and third place, Spangler.
Dauntless of Ebensburg also won the William F. Lower Award, a new award for best overall of all efficiency contests.
The grand parade was led by local officials, followed by the Altoona City Honor Guard, the Jaffa Shrine Marching Units, bands, floats, fire apparatus and the Philadelphia Police and Fire Pipes and Drums.
The Corbin Award, which is presented to the most outstanding company on the parade route, was won by Dauntless of Ebensburg.
After the parade, some of the highlights of the evening included entertainment from the Hollidaysburg Alumni Band, Lidz of Altoona and The Philadelphia Police and Fire Pipes and Drums.
Organizers of the parade said they were honored to have the Philadelphia Police and Fire Pipes and Drums as part of the ceremonies, especially after learning of the recent loss of two of their fellow members in the line of duty.
The Excelsior No. 1 Fire Company of Bellwood and Central District Past President Robert Whiteford wishes to thank the Bellwood-Antis community and sponsors for their support in making this convention a huge success.

By Rick