Pa. restaurant campaign raises funds for FDs, apparatus
The “Buck Up for Unity” campaign involves restaurants in Unity Township supporting seven departments
By Megan Swift
UNITY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Diners in Unity are being asked to “Buck Up” this month to support the township’s fire bureau.
The new campaign is in partnership with several restaurants in the township. Customers are asked to donate to the local fire departments at the end of their meal — raising their check by a dollar or more.
Gabe Monzo, executive director of the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, came up with the “Buck Up for Unity” idea when he saw a similar campaign in Delmont.
Monzo said customers can donate any amount. The campaign will last until the end of October, which is national Fire Prevention Month.
The bureau includes all of the township’s fire departments — Crabtree, Dryridge, Lloydsville, Marguerite, Mutual, Pleasant Unity and Youngstown-Whitney — and the proceeds will go toward local match funding to complete requirements for state and federal grants.
Tom Schultheis, township emergency management coordinator, said the bureau is hoping to replace its aerial fire truck. A new ladder unit can cost around $1.4 million.
Any extra funds will go toward annual rescue tool testing, and annual requirement to remain compliant with insurance companies, he said.
Though they’re not sure how much the campaign will raise, Schultheis said “any amount helps.”
“We’re going to see how it goes,” Monzo said. “If it’s $1, it’s $1 more than we had last month.”
Participating businesses include DeNunzio’s Italian Chophouse at the airport, Dino’s, Sharky’s, The Meadows Original Frozen Custard and Monday’s Tavern — and they’re hoping to add more.
Monzo said retail outlets can join the effort, too.
“I’m excited about the program; I’m really excited about the participants,” Monzo said. “The door is open for anybody that would like to participate.”
Each establishment will write a check to the bureau at the end of the month for the amount of money raised, minus any taxes and credit card fees.
Monzo, who’s been a longtime member of the Youngstown Volunteer Fire Department, has been involved with fire service for over 40 years.
“This is a chance for us to support them — they support the community — and it’s an easy way to do it,” Monzo said.
Whatever establishment raises the most money will receive a plaque.