Rotary Club honors 2015 Firefighter of the Year

Published 6:48 pm Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mike Freeman was named Bogalusa’s Firefighter of the Year Tuesday at the regular meeting of the Rotary Club of Bogalusa held at Bogalusa Country Club.

He was introduced by Bogalusa Fire Chief Richard Moody, who said, “It’s always hard to pick a firefighter of the year.”

Moody explained that all 30 people in the department work hard but added that when reviewing all the nominations at least one thing about Freeman stuck out in his mind.

“I could probably count on two hands the number of days he’s missed in 25 years,” he said.

In accepting the award, Freeman agreed with Moody about the quality of his colleagues.

“There really should be 30 of them,” said Freeman.

He went on to expound on the difficult and somewhat disheartening nature of the work, which is often misunderstood by those who have never had to call on the Fire Department.

“When we go to work, someone’s losing something,” he said.

After acknowledging his two sons, who were in the audience to support their father as he accepted the honor, Freeman ended his short speech by saying, “Thank you. It’s an honor.”

Prior to the bestowal of the honor, which included the presentation of a commemorative plaque, Rotary member Scott Catalanotto spoke about the recent shoe drive conducted by the club. He said that with the approximately $500 raised — including about $300 in individual donations and $200 contributed by the club — he was able to purchase 160 pairs of shoes for needy children, some of whom have never owned a pair of shoes in their lives.

Next week, the Rotary Club of Bogalusa will not meet at its regular noon meeting time but instead will be hosting its annual Pancake Supper the evening of April 7 from 5 until 7 p.m. at the Bogalusa Country Club. Tickets are $6 per person. The menu includes pancakes, DD sausage and syrup. Suppers will be boxed and ready to take-out or eat–in. Tickets can be purchased from any Rotary Club member or by calling 985-732-2366. Proceeds go to a scholarship for a deserving Fourth Ward student.