Jim Sánchez/ Conexión San Ángelo

SAN ANGELO – The first of what San Angelo Fire Assistant Chief, Todd Sanford, hopes to be one of many, official Firefighter’s Ball, got off to a rocking, red hot affair evidenced by a fairly good crowd which turned out to dance the night away to the sounds of Boogie Town last weekend, Friday, November 17.

Left-to-right: Gilbert Gonzalez, his wife, Lucy Gonzalez, SMD4, Mayor Brenda Gunter and Harry Thomas, SMD 3.
Back row, left-to-right: Martha Ketchum and Floyd Martinez 

Boogie Town members, comprised of lead singer, Kristi Hollowell, lead guitar, Steve McGlothin, bass guitarist, Bill Edgar, rhythm guitarist, Kevin Collin and and keyboard player, Matt Clark, were spot on with cover songs from such artists as the 70s group—The Pointer Sister’s Fire, Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk and Girl Crush by Little Big Town, etc.

Assistant Chief, Sanford, was interviewed by Conexión prior to the black-tie gala affair. Sanford, the progenitor of this ball, wanted the inaugural Ball badly for several reasons. The first one was for his fellow firefighters and their spouses to celebrate; and for the citizens they serve as the public was also invited to attend.

As for the second reason, the money raised for this event would be used, “to pay for the first ever San Angelo Fire Department Awards ceremony, to get specialized training for the members of the SAFD and to support the SAFD personnel any other way that the Foundation sees a need,” said Sanford.

Assistant Chief, Sanford, who founded the San Angelo Firefighter’s Foundation, was asked why he created? 

“When I became Assistant Fire Chief I saw a need to help get my personnel trained in specialized training that would help them be better firefighter/paramedics, would help keep them safer on emergency scenes and also benefit the community.” “I also promised the firefighters that we were going to have a Firefighters Ball and an Awards Ceremony but I had no money to pay for these events so I created the Foundation to support our firefighters and help fund these events for my personnel.”

And, ever since Sanford got hired in 1991, it has always been a dream of his to have a Firefighter’s Ball to show appreciation for their service. He was asked why there had never been one before.

“The main reason we have never had one here is twofold.  First it takes a lot of time to put on an event like this and I don’t think anyone ever wanted to dedicate that kind of time; but for me it was a dream and with the help of a few firefighters and a lot of amazing firefighter wives, we have put together, what I believe, is going to be a one of a kind event,” said Sanford.

Judging by the success of this year’s inaugural SAFD Ball and beyond, it certainly has all the makings of being one-of-a-kind!  

This year's first inaugural SAFD's silent auction raised $5, 600.

Kenny Blanek's Village Cafe catered the event.

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