Saturday , July 19, 2014 - 9:40 PM
ROY – Cars got washed and heads got shaved Saturday, all in the name of service for one of the Roy Fire Department’s “own.”
Geri Storey, wife of Mike Storey and mother of Brandon Storey, who both work for the fire department, contracted cancer in April of 2013. She battled through surgery and chemotherapy and found herself in remission. But the cancer came back in March and since that time Geri has been trying to find the right chemo medicine that will shrink her tumors.
It’s been a rough few months for the Storey family and so the fire department knew it had to step in and do something.
“Geri has done so much for us over the years. We couldn’t not do something for her. She’s one of our own,” said Fire Chief Jason Poulsen.
Mike Storey has worked for the department for 35 years and considers the department his family – and it literally is since his son now works for the department as well.
Mike stood at the head of the wash bay and ushered in a steady stream of cars as his wife talked to many well-wishers as they came to pay a visit. Some people she hadn’t seen for years, but heard of her plight came to make a donation.
“This is very overwhelming,” Geri said, her head wrapped in a brightly covered scarf. “Isn’t it awesome, all this support? I can’t believe all these people that care. There has just been a study stream of cars,” Geri said as she motioned to the full bays of cars filled with dozens of firefighters, their wives and children all washing away.
Items were also set up for a raffle with items donated from Geri’s sister-in-law, Tracy Storey, who with Talya Gordon, administrative assistant for the department, were set up at tables taking donations for the car wash and raffle. Both said they were impressed with the generosity. “We have been getting large donations – hundreds and fifties. We will be here as long as it takes,” Gordon said.
“This really shows there are still really good people out there,” Tracy said.
Things got more exciting when Bob Quick, a Roy resident, who credits the fire department for saving his life, offered to donate his hair and beard for the cause. He pulled out a chair, razor and a cloth cover and started shouting for donations. “If I can get $500 this beard goes!” Quick said. Quick recently completed a bike trip across the country to raise money for non-profit organizations as a show of what someone with 16 heart stents can do. The firefighters quickly put their heads together and agreed to the $500 and then another donor kicked in another $250 to see the beard and the hair go. Quick smiled as Geri and many others took the shears and razor to his long, gray hair and beard that has been his trademark for many years.
But Geri wasn’t done trimming yet. As soon as Quick was done, Troy Easton, a former Roy firefighter, started getting donations to see Poulsen get his head shaved. So $800 was quickly raised to see Poulsen’s thick brown hair gone. Poulsen hesitated at first, but then joined in as Geri started to shave his hair. Money was flying out of pockets amid cheers and claps to raise more money. Soon other firefighters were in on the fun, offering to shave their heads as well.
Quick said the decision was easy to shave his head. “I do this first to raise money for this lady,” he said as he put his arm around Geri. “I do it second so she ain’t the only person walking around here without any hair.”
Geri said the gesture is especially touching for her. “I was devastated when I lost my hair. This is overwhelming that they are doing all of this,” she said as Poulsen hair’s was being shorn.
Poulsen couldn’t get over how weird it felt to have his head shaved, but knew he did it for something important. “When all the money was coming in I knew I had to do it and it was for a great cause – for Geri,” he said.
Mike was also overwhelmed and awed by the love and support shown to his family.
“Some of these guys are here working and doing this and so many others are just spending their day here for us,” Mike said. “This just shows what people can do when they set their mind. It’s mind over matter and a good spirit and a good attitude will eventually pay off.” He added that his family has learned that and he sees the Roy Fire Department has that attitude as well.
For anyone interested in making more donations for Geri, stop by the Roy Fire Department at 5051 S. 1900 West.
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