Pa. students raise funds in honor of beloved fallen firefighter
Riverside Elementary School raised nearly $700 in honor of Randy Syphrit, who was killed over the summer, and who regularly visited the school to teach fire safety
By Patrick O'Shea
Ellwood City Ledger
NORTH SEWICKLEY TWP., Pa. — Youngsters at Riverside Elementary School recently raised nearly $700 in the name of a deceased firefighter who regularly came to the school to teach them about fire safety.
Randy Syphrit, who died at 52 in August while performing storm cleanup duties as part of his job as North Sewickley Township's assistant road foreman, has been missed by the children who were used to his face in the building, especially during Fire Prevention Week, which was last week.
Syphrit and other local firefighters have been coming there for years, showing pupils how to prevent fires and how to react in emergency situations. But it was not the same this year without Syphrit, said Emily Smith, pre-kindergarten to second-grade principal.
So the pupils decided to raise money to give back to the department in Syphrit's name. The youngsters through fifth-grade raised $679.91, with Toni Eastabrook's first-grade class raising the highest amount. Pupils plan to use the money to have a pizza party with the North Sewickley Volunteer Fire Department.
"Clearly, Randy was a valued member of the department, and his memory will live on in the efforts of his colleagues' work not only during Fire Prevention Week at Riverside, but throughout the year," Smith said.
©2019 Ellwood City Ledger, Pa.