Brian Erwin presents Paula Rohloff the 911 memorial print she won in a benefit raffle for local fire fighters
A year ago September 11th Brian Erwin invited local firefighters and members of the public to his Frames & Things shop at the Soldotna Blazy Mall to remember those lost in the 911 attack and to unveil a commemorative print by Ron DeCianni that he had framed to be raffled off. The purpose of the raffle in cooperation with the Kenai Lions Club was to raise funds to go to our local firefighters as a gesture of appreciation for standing ready to put themselves in harms way whenever necessary. During the last year Kenai Lions and employees at Frames & Things sold tickets to visitors from all over the country as well as local community members. “Many people were moved when they saw the piece and bought a ticket out of appreciation, they didn’t want it for themselves, and rather than even acknowledging that they bought the ticket, they wrote in their favorite fire station wherever they were from so if their ticket was chosen it would go to that fire house,” said Erwin.
Last week as many attended Sunday memorial services for the victims of 911, a small group gathered at Frames & Things to be present at the drawing to honor local first responders. Paula Rohloff, a Soroptimist Club member had been into Erwin’s shop earlier in the week to pick up a donation for the Soroptimist golf tournament when Brian asked her to buy a ticket for the print, “I could hardly say no, so I bought a ticket and when Brian called me Sunday I told him it was impossible because I never win anything,” said Rohloff. Erwin said he was thrilled that the winner was someone local and a ticket that he had personally sold, “That was really the best part and I can’t think of a nicer person that it could have gone to. We’re grateful to the Lions for helping us out and it was really great to see the support from the community for our local firefighters, I don’t know if they get too many pats on the back, but hopefully they’ll feel this one,” said Erwin.
Rohloff says she hasn’t decided exactly what to do yet with the piece, “The print is just so beautifully framed that I really thought about keeping it for myself at first, but it really hasn’t sunk in yet that I actually won it. I’ve talked it over a little with my husband and were thinking that we might donate it on a rotating basis to the three local stations that Brian has included the patches of with the print, and then maybe finally to go to the historical museum here in Soldotna.”
According to Erwin nearly $2,100 was raised through the raffle and he intends on rounding that figure up so he can present each of the three local stations with a check for $700 each. Anyone still wishing to contribute can contact Brian Erwin at 262-5248.
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