By Sue Hughes | For The Times-Post
PENDLETON — Open Hearts, Open Purses (OHOP) — South Madison Community Foundation’s women’s giving circle — voted to give its main grant to South Madison Fire Territory during its recent annual banquet at the Crystal Coop in Anderson.
In addition to $10,000 for the fire territory, OHOP attracted enough members — each of whom pays $100 to participate — to give $4,300 to each of the two remaining finalists: Outfitters, which provides clothing to those in need, and Friends For Paws, an animal rescue.
“Our specialty is legacy,” said OHOP Chairwoman Jill Sizemore, who congratulated the recipients and thanked the members for their continued generosity. “Ladies like you come from a long list, of people who came before you and those who will come after you.”
During the June 8 event, representatives from each of the three finalists described their organization and what they would do with the money.
Afterward, OHOP members voted for their choice.
Assistant Fire Chief Darren Isaacs, a 31-year member of the fire department, and paramedic/firefighter Cory Hall presented first.
Isaacs started out by asking how many of those present had used the ambulance or fire service. Most present had used one or the other at some time.
Pendleton Fire Department recently merged with other local departments to serve Fall Creek and Green townships. It also has mutual aid agreements with other departments, including Lapel and Adams Township.
“There is a shortage all over the country of paramedics,” Isaacs said. “We plan to use the money to train two EMTs to be paramedics.”
He added that a paramedic is the highest level of pre-hospital care. They can do emergency surgery on site and deliver babies and more.
Kellie Borgman spoke on behalf of Friends for Paws. She said there’s a need at the rescue for a place for new rescues to be evaluated and to decompress.
Outfitters board member Shelby Wisehart said the organization wants to purchase an enclosed trailer so it can provide pop-up locations to distribute clothing to those in need.
The fire territory also received $450 from the Junior OHOP program, which involves girls younger than 18 who pay $25 to participate.
Isaacs and Hall thanked Junior OHOP for its support.