The Stevens Point Fire Department (SPFD) released a 2013 calendar Friday, Oct. 12. The calendar featuring lightly dressed firefighters from the SPFD is titled “Twelve Shades of SPFD,” a play on the popular “Fifty Shades of Grey” book. Proceeds from calendar sales will be used to raise money for the 118-year-old “boy with the leaky boot” statue and the James Dorn Memorial Burn Fund (JDMBF).
The calendars will be on sale through January at Station 1, 1701 Franklin St., Stevens Point and Station 2, 4401 Industrial Park Drive, Stevens Point. The suggested donation for each calendar is $10.
“We’ve gotten a great response so far from the community,” said Victor Kedrowski, who has been a firefighter and paramedic for 15 years. “Numerous people have come in and asked firefighters to sign the calendars… they feel like celebrities.”
Over the last 118 years, the boy statue has become a symbol of the local fire department to the city of Stevens Point. He was originally brought to the Market Square in 1895 to help beautify the downtown area. The statue’s first documented incident was in 1910, when he was damaged by a runaway horse drawn wagon. At the time, no one thought to repair the statue and its remains were discarded in a ditch by the original firehouse on Second Street.
Luckily firefighters rescued him from the ditch. They refinished the statue, putting him on display in front of their station in a flowerbed. Even though they spruced him up, he was still missing both legs and his leaking boot.
In 1941, he was repainted and given a fishing rod, creel, net and fish. However, those items were quickly stolen. The statue stayed on display at the Second Street fire station until a new station was built on Franklin Street in 1967. After the new station was built, he went into storage for roughly eight years, until he was refinished again. At this time a new boot and legs and were added to the statue.
Since then, the boy with the leaky boot has seen his fair share of vandalism and theft, but it has continued to be a symbol of the local fire department.
In 2000 the statue received a surveillance camera to deter future vandalism attacks; however, the camera cannot protect the statue from the elements, which have taken a toll on the boy, making him increasingly fragile.
Within the last year restoring the boy has become a priority for the Fire Department. He is one of only 15 similar statues documented in existence today.
“We take pride in the boy with the boot since there aren’t many, and it has been around for the length of our department,” said firefighter Frank Alan.
The JDMBF will also benefit from the “Twelve Shades of SPFD” calendar. For more than 30 years the SPF Union, Local 484, has donated to the burn fund. The fund gives burn patients or families $100 immediately to help offset costs of unexpected travel and lodging.
The calendar’s release coincided with the start of Fire Safety month. During the month of October, the SPFD will visit many schools and give more than 100 tours of the fire station to educate students and individuals about what firefighters do behind the scenes as well as for the community.
“We can have a car accident, gunshot fatality and a birth all in one day,” said Kedrowski. “This job is truly amazing.”
Splendid Photography by Serena provided all photography used in the “Twelve Shades of SPFD,” with layout and design completed by Brawley St. Arts and printing by Worzalla Publishing.
All proceeds from the calendar will go to restoring the statue and the JDMBF. For more information about the calendar or to find out how to make a donation, “Like” boy with the boot and Stevens Point Fire Department on Facebook or visit the website at www.iafflocal484.org.