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Hardwick benefits from Nebraska woman's donation

Lead Summary
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Mavis Fodness

Hardwick’s search for a new rescue unit ended last week, thanks in part to a donation by a Lyons, Nebraska, woman.
Two years ago, when Lorraine Glissman of Lyons died, her bequest fulfilled the Lyons Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department’s goal to upgrade its existing rescue unit with a new four-wheel-drive vehicle.
 “She was grateful for what we gave to help her,” said Karolyn McElroy, rescue captain with the Lyons department.
McElroy said the department responded to several calls to the Glissman home for husband Floyd (who died in 2006) and later for her.
McElroy said the Glissmans, who retired from farming in 1982 and moved to Lyons, often attended the department’s annual fundraisers.
On one occasion, she recalled Lorraine asking her what other equipment the department needed. Discussions led to the need for a washing machine without an agitator.
A check from Glissman arrived within days of the discussion for the purchase of a new washer and dryer.
She was so appreciative of the department, McElroy said.
Shortly after Glissman’s death in 2013, an estate attorney notified the Lyons department it was one of several organizations named in the will.
“I was shocked,” McElroy said of the amount given to the department.
For several years the Lyons department had set its sites on a four-wheel-drive vehicle to better handle the difficult roads during the winter weather. The department was several years away from affording the necessary $200,000.
Painted on Lyons’ new blue and white rescue unit are the words, “In loving memory of Floyd & Lorraine Glissman.”
The new unit became the primary truck in the fleet of three to serve the 813 residents of Lyons. McElroy said they no longer needed their oldest truck, a 1993 Ford.
Hardwick Mayor John Javner had spent more than two years contacting other fire departments about purchasing a used rescue unit.
Of more than a dozen inquires, he only received a call from his brother, a member of the Lyons department.
“He told me they were getting a new unit and our department was limited on funds,” Javner said. “They (the Lyons department) agreed to sell it for a little bit, but nothing near what it is worth.”
Hardwick is in the process of replacing its 1986 model. Costs were estimated between $20,000 and $30,000 for a reliable unit, but Hardwick paid only $3,000 for the Lyons vehicle.
For a community like Hardwick, population around 195, being able to fundraise for a replacement unit would take years.
The Lyons rescue vehicle arrived in Hardwick last week. It is currently being prepared for service.
“This means a lot,” Javner said. “Our old one had served its purpose.”

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