By NICOLE GUGINO
OBSERVER Assistant News Editor
SILVER CREEK - In a close knit community like Silver Creek many people are involved in volunteer work and helping out, however there aren't many people as dedicated as Rich Bartlett.
OBSERVER file photo by Samantha McDonnell
The friends and family of Rich Bartlett (right) will hold a benefit to offset the cost of cancer treatments Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Silver Creek Fireman’s Club. Bartlett is pictured hugging Silver Creek Fire Chief and friend Jeff Griewisch at a ceremony to dedicate a truck bay in his honor.
Bartlett has touched the lives of many with his service to his community. Now after being diagnosed with cancer, his friends and family are asking the community to turn out to support him.
There will be a benefit held to help offset the cost of his treatments at Roswell Park Cancer Institute on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. at the Silver Creek Fireman's Club on Jackson Street.
Bartlett has been a member of the Silver Creek Fire Department for more than 35 years and has served as fire chief five times. He has also trained more than 100 people in the fire department to use the "jaws of life" and is the vice president of the Chau-tauqua County Fire Chiefs Association.
Rich Bartlett benefitWhat: Benefit for Rich Bartlett
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Silver Creek Fireman's Club, Jackson Street
Why: Help offset cost of treatments at Roswell Park Cancer Institute
His dedication to the fire department was recently recognized when a truck bay at the fire hall was named "Bartlett Bay" in his honor.
Bartlett currently serves as the disaster coordinator for the village of Silver Creek and was a major part in the creation of the Citizens Emergency Re-sponse Team after the 2009 flood.
In addition, he was the president of the Silver Creek Little League and saw through a major project in renovating the field.
He has also conducted the fire prevention program at Silver Creek School for many years, this being the first year he is unable to do it.
"I have known Rich for 25 years and he has been a great inspiration for many people, especially in the fire service. ... The entire time I have known him he has always helped the community. Now it is time to help Rich," Todd Johnson, longtime friend and benefit organizer, said.
Bartlett's friends and family have planned a great afternoon of fun, food and activities.
There will be a pig roast, beef on weck and sides as well as several auctions and raffles.
According to Johnson, there are more than 300 items set for auction, autographed sports memorabilia for silent auction and several large items for raffle including hotel stays, a lounge chair and a generator with installation, to name a few.
Admission is $20 and tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at Community Bank in Silver Creek or Tom's Restaurant in Irving.
Many types of entertainment are planned. According to Johnson, there will be a dunk tank where participants will have an opportunity to dunk Hanover Supervisor Johnson, Silver Creek Mayor Kurt Lindstrom, Silver Creek Fire Chief Jeff Griewisch, Sunset Bay Fire Chief Rob Weiskerger, former Silver Creek Mayor Harry Vancuren and Wally Uhlendorf of the Silver Creek Water Department.
There will also be music all day with live music by Us.
A car was donated for participants to take a swing at it with a sledge hammer and later the Silver Creek Fire Department will do a "jaws of life" demonstration on the beach.
All are invited to come at the Fireman's Club Saturday afternoon to support Rich Bartlett and his family.