What a gift
But this week there’s a special donation photo. Dixie Contractors owner Claude Hendrickson has donated a fire truck to the Milano Volunteer Fire Department.
That’s right, a fire truck. Hendrickson bought the vehicle from an airport in suburban Pittsburgh, intending to outfit Dixie Contractors with its own “first responders” type equipment, including a fire truck.
But when the truck arrived, Hendrickson took one look and went “wow!” He realized a vehicle of this quality really needed to be in full-time service with a fire department somewhere. “It needed to be where it would do the most good for the most people,” he said.
Rockdale Fire Chief Warren Matous suggested the Milano VFD. Hendrickson thought that was a great idea so, as soon as it is outfitted, the Milano VFD will be answering calls with a new No. 1 pumper.
It’s not the first generous action by Hendrickson and Dixie, the company which is almost complete with its Rockdale project, the demantling of the three old Sandow Power Plant units at Alcoa’s Rockdale Operations.
In recent years Dixie has been a presence at every fundraiser and worthy event in our area. Hendrickson has made countless donations to causes in our community and has supported Rockdale and Milam County to the hilt, including many ways we’ll never know.
It’s instructive to reflect that Dixie knew from the start it wasn’t going to be a permanent part of the area or its business community. It was going to take down Units 1, 2 and 3 and then leave.
But Dixie, and Hendrickson, have plunged whole-heartedly into the life of this area, something they didn’t have to do but something they wanted, whole-heartedly, to do.
“Thanks” just doesn’t seem like enough to say. But “thanks.” We’re better off because you were here.— M.B.