Farmers and Friends Day at East New Market Firehouse

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Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz
She may be small but Libby Nagel is a big force in raising money for causes chosen by Farmers & Friends. She is flanked by Maryland delegate Johnny Mautz (l) and celeb “Big Don” O’Brien (r).

EAST NEW MARKET — Music, the tantalizing smell of homemade food, scores of youngsters whooping and hollering when one of their own got dumped in a water filled dunk tank, fire trucks and emergency vehicles, decorated beds – what!!!!  Yes indeed, there were fancy decorated beds in a contest won by the Linkwood-Salem Fire Company.

A corn hole tournament was followed by a serious tug-of-war made more difficult, certainly slipperier, by a huge fire hose powered water shower.

All this and more was available on Saturday to the hundreds of visitors at “Farmers and Friends Supporting Dorchester Fire Departments” day at the East New Market fire station. Chaired by Farmers and Friends’ members Libby Nagel, Judy Andrews, Kele Turner, Donna Payne, and Shayne Meyer the picture-perfect weather drew a large crowd for the afternoon events.  The fun continued through 11 pm.

“Farmers and Friends started as a way for the farming community to give back to our community because God has been very good to all the farmers,” explained Mrs. Nagel. The group has sponsored fundraisers in the past like “Hampers of Hope” for Hurricane Sandy victims and “Seeds of Hope” for veterans. “This year we picked the fire companies,” said Mrs. Nagel. “All the money raised will be donated back to the local fire companies in Dorchester County that participated in this event with us. If they made a bed or came and sent people to work they will get money from what’s been raised today.”

Few realize how much fire-fighting equipment costs. A quick tally of replacement costs for some engines and trucks on display at the event totaled over $2 million.

Two popular local bands participated: Second Wind and Third Rail. “These guys are really good about helping us do stuff and very gracious,” said Mrs. Nagel. The East New Market Fire Co. provided food and received the profits. Linkwood-Salem sold chances and received the proceeds.

One booth had a large get well card for Gov. Larry Hogan. Farmers and Friends is gathering signatures and messages from all over the Eastern Shore for the governor who is fighting cancer. Pictures from a pre-election event at Sailwinds last year sponsored by Farmers and Harvesters will be included.

“Farmers and Friends is just about giving back,” said Mrs. Nagel. “It’s a group of farmers and wives. This event was organized by a group of wives.” Mrs. Nagel chuckled, “behind every man you know there’s a woman. So usually the women kick in and get it going and the men just come and do what they have to do.” It was a fun day!

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Dorchester Banner/Susan M. Bautz
The warm-up to the Tug of War. Naturally the spray had to be tested by experts before the big event.

Susan Bautz is a freelance writer for the Dorchester Banner.

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