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Mossy Pond Volunteer Fire Department gets help from college lacrosse team

Posted at 12:43 AM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 00:43:41-05

ALTHA, Fl. (WTXL) - It's been just over a year and three months since Hurricane Michael devastated the Panhandle of Florida, and while there's been progress in the clean-up, there is still a long way to go.

The Mossy Pond Volunteer Fire Department in Altha lost almost everything, and are currently operating out of an office in the town's library. Hurricane Michael destroyed the fire station, and ever since, they've had to store their equipment in a pole barn.

"We put one truck under it to test the waters and see how things would go," said Assistant Fire Chief Dominick Rhodes. "We had a lot of thefts with it, they were stealing equipment off of it and supplies."

Enter the Colgate Lacrosse team.

"We read an article back in October about Mossy Pond Fire Department who's struggling and needed help," said Matt Karweck, Colgate's head lacrosse coach. "We were inspired by that article and we said okay, maybe we can drive an hour and a half west of Tallahassee and see if we can not only see the devastation first hand, but also help out a community that needed help."

The pole barn? Enclosed, and just awaiting doors. Mossy Pond's equipment will now be protected.

"I makes me feel overwhelmed with joy," smiled Rhodes. "It's a year and four months after the fact, and we're still getting help. Slowly, we're starting to put it back together. We are still getting help, like out here today."

"You take a lot for granted and I hadn't been affected by this in my life," added Matt Lupinacci, a senior for Colgate. "It gives you perspective on what people deal with. Just hoping we can give back in any way we can. It's about them - not about us."

Colgate played Jacksonville Tuesday night in Tallahassee in the city's first ever Division I lacrosse game. All ticket and t-shirt sales went to the Mossy Pond Volunteer Fire Department. Along with donations, the total was around $6,000.