Charlie Grimstead of Back Bay holds one of his hunting dogs, Shine, after delivering a holiday meal on behalf of the Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance to the Creeds Fire Station on Tuesday, Nov. 20. [John-Henry Doucette/The Independent News]

CREEDS — Members of the Tidewater chapter of the Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance delivered Thanksgiving favorites to first responders in the southern reaches of Virginia Beach on Tuesday, Nov. 20. 

There was turkey, ham, collards, produce from local farmers, and fixings for the firefighters and rescue personnel pulling holiday duty.

Naturally, the bounty from the local hunters included a fair bit of venison, too.

The organization has provided the makings of a holiday meal to three fire and rescue stations in Virginia Beach – Blackwater, Creeds and Sandbridge – as well as to some stations in Chesapeake and Norfolk.

“These guys spend all of this time away from their families,” said Charlie Grimstead of Back Bay, who delivered the donations with others from the chapter. “We wanted to do something for them.”

“You do know how to prepare collards, don’t you?” Rachel Clark of Back Bay, who is Grimstead’s girlfriend, asked the firefighters as a big bag of the leaves headed toward the station.

Master Firefighter Jason Nichols said they were grateful for the donated food. Later, too, he noted that folks in a firehouse tend to know how to cook. By tradition and necessity, they prepare meals together over long shifts.

“It’s awesome,” he said of the delivery.

“We appreciate it,” added Master Firefighter Skip Frey, who noted he would be serving at another station for the holiday.

Fire Fighter John McMahon said he and Nichols would likely do the Thanksgiving cooking. 

“Usually it’s stressful seeing who is doing meal plans,” he said.

Gene Lindsay of Creeds, who hunts with Grimstead and for years served on the volunteer rescue squad here, said he was glad to help provide the meals to those who serve the city.

“I know what it’s like to run holidays,” he said. “Nobody did this when I ran. That why when Charlie told me about this, I said hell yes.”

After deliveries to Blackwater and Creeds were done, Grimstead let a few hunting dogs out of the back of his truck to mingle with fire fighters and take pictures.

In Blackwater, fire Capt. Rodger Burns, the C shift captain, was among the fire fighters who accepted the donated goods from the local hunters.

“I think it’s great they’re giving back to the community and taking care of each other,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

Representatives of the Tidewater Chapter of the Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance deliver a Thanksgiving feast to Creeds Fire Station, including turkey, ham, sides including collards, as well as venison. Shown are Gunnar McGuire of Blackwater, Charlie Grimstead of Back Bay, Rachel Clark of Back Bay, Gene Linsday of Creeds and Virginia Beach Master Firefighter Skip Frey. [John-Henry Doucette/The Independent News]
Lindsay holds one of the hunting dogs during the visit to the Creeds station while city Fire Firefghter John McMahon greets a four-legged visitor. [John-Henry Doucette/The Independent News]

Learn more about the Virginia Hunting Dog Alliance online via Reach Grimstead at (757) 472-4090 to learn more about the Tidewater chapter.

© 2018 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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