By Joseph Malone
The Mineola Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary was founded 80 years ago in 1937, but its dedication to the community “shows no signs of slowing down,” village Mayor Scott Strauss said.
The Mineola Village Board commemorated the group’s anniversary on Wednesday, honoring the women at during its public meeting.
“They have been and remain one of the hallmarks of the fire department family,” said Strauss, a Mineola firefighter. “They are always behind the scenes supporting the firefighters in whatever capacity they can.”
Before 1960, the Ladies Auxiliary organized clothing drives for families affected by a home fire, and during World War II, they contributed to the American Red Cross by selling blankets and garments, Strauss said.
Flore Rowe, the Ladies Auxiliary president, said the group currently has 28 members and is welcoming newcomers.
Rowe, who joined 26 years ago, said some of the women have been members for four to six decades.
“These ladies stay a long time and they work very hard,” Rowe said, adding that the women cook for the firemen during training camp and special occasions such as Memorial Day. “The ladies seem to enjoy it, just something that they feel good doing.”
Mineola Fire Department Chief Jeff Clark expressed gratitude to the Ladies Auxiliary for bringing coffee and donuts to the scene of a fire K’s Auto Repair, which blazed from about 11:30 p.m. on March 2 to 3:00 a.m. on March 3.
More than 200 firefighters from at least six departments responded to the fire, which eventually destroyed the auto shop at 75 Willis Ave.
“I can’t thank you enough for all your support throughout the years that I’ve been chief and beyond that,” Clark said to the Ladies Auxiliary members. “You’ve done a great deal for the department.”