Youngstown Fire Belles Ladies Auxiliary

WRITTEN BY RETIRED YFD LIEUTENANT MARTYN J. LIPINSKY

On July 17, 1986, the Youngstown Fire Belles Ladies Auxiliary to the International Association of Firefighters was organized. Donna Carbon and Tern Hian, with the help of numerous other people including some firefighters, founded it. The purpose of the auxiliary was to help the firefighters in any way possible, to serve charities and the community.

Since 1986, the Fire Belles had a lot to be proud of. The first year, they held a very successful Spaghetti Dinner for a local child suffering from a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. The child was on life support systems and the proceeds from that dinner went to help with his medical bills.

The Fire Belles made Easter Baskets for hospitalized children, gift baskets for the elderly at area nursing homes, donated a cake annually to the Easter Seals Cake Auction and had a Firefighters Family picnic with proceeds going to the IAFF Burn Foundation.

To assist Local 312 Firefighters, the Fire Belles ran the concession stand for the annual Muscular Dystrophy softball tournament. They baked and served refreshments at the Fire Prevention Open House in October. They organized, bought and wrapped gifts and bake cookies for Local 312’s Childrens Christmas Party, and were in charge of decorating, making centerpieces, selling raffle tickets and greeting retirees with boutonnieres at the Annual Retirement and Awards Dinner.

Monthly meetings ranged from self-defense karate to cake decorating demonstrations, painting sweatshirts and making crafts, and hosting speakers from MADD, Women’s Crisis Center and CPR to name a few.

The Fire Belles met the second Tuesday of every month at Christ United Presbyterian Church, corner of Canfield and Hopkins Roads. Membership was open to wives, daughters, mothers and sisters of all active, retired and deceased firefighters of Youngstown Local 312.

Past presidents included Donna Carbon, Janet Vari and Lucille DiMuzio.

The group disbanded in the mid to late 1990’s.