Stories like this make us so proud to call Southie our hometown. After one devastating hurricane hit Texas and another one was heading towards Florida, Rob Fitzharris – owner of Roza Lyons and Boston firefighter from Ladder 19 (K Street Firehouse) Sean Coyle were motivated to pitch in and help! “I was on my day off, having lunch at Roza Lyons, talking to Rob about all the coverage on TV about Harvey in Texas – with predictions of Irma heading to Florida. We are so fortunate – we had an awesome summer, the weather, life in South Boston, we felt like we had to do something so we organized a fundraiser,” said Sean.
Roza Lyons began collecting items like toiletries, clothes, baby goods, school supplies and gift cards! And Southie did not disappoint! A truck-load was collected!
Last Wednesday, volunteers loaded up the Uhaul, and Sean, along with Captain Tony O’Brien from Ladder 19 hit the road at 2pm. “We arrived in Jacksonville, FL on Friday morning at 10am. 20 hours on the road, Obie did 13 hours. I told (long) stories and pumped the gas,” joked Sean.
Tony is a veteran firefighter of 35 years. Sean has been on the job for over 10. When Tony heard about Sean’s plan to drive the Uhaul all over the country, Tony volunteered to join him. The experience so far has been so positive and rewarding. “People at restaurants, gas stations have been really touched and have expressed appreciation for Boston stepping up to help out! People have been so grateful and many lunches have been ”on the house” – even a $92 fill up was donated by a gas station manager in Fredericksburg, Virginia!,” said Sean.
Tony and Sean plan on arriving in Beaumont,Texas on Monday and in Houston on Tuesday for their final stop to drop off donations. “Special thanks to Dominic, Randi, Marcos, Colleen, Brendan, Jacquie, Mayor Flynn, Cathy Flynn, and even our buddy from Dover AFB, Lt Col Ed Szczepanik, USAF, flew up to assist in the effort. And a great big shoutout to Nancy for her tireless support of the “trip” remotely from Southie,” added Sean.
A special thank you to Sean, Tony and Rob for exemplifying what a good neighbor truly is!
Roza Lyons is selling limited edition hurricane relief t-shirts for $20. All proceeds will go those affected by the hurricanes in Texas and Florida. Stop by and show your support!
CONGRATULATIONS!!! a great story and thanks to these volunteers – Proud of our Town!!!