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Dayton Daze celebrates heroes, supports fire department

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DAYTON — Heroes paid homage to another group of heroes during the Dayton Daze celebration last weekend. This year’s theme, Dayton Daze Honors D-Day, was created to show respect for their service.  

Volunteer firefighters and emergency responders expressed respect for the American and Allied soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago on D-Day during WWII. The Chief Cliff Volunteer Fire Department hosted the event in Dayton Park.

This year’s festivities, now in the 29th year, offered a little something for everyone, including an open car show, craft booths, music, kids’ games, a silent auction and raffle, firefighter games, a bazaar at the Dayton Church, free wine tasting at the Mission Mountain Winery, free hot dogs and a parade.

The parade boasted its usual array of fire trucks, emergency vehicles, vintage cars, a giant houseboat on its trailer, tons of candy for the kids and a selection of vintage military vehicles. 

The event also serves as the fire department’s biggest fundraiser of the season. The Chief Cliff Volunteer Fire Department/QRU is the first line of defense for those living in northern Lake County, including Dayton, Proctor, Elmo and Lake Mary Ronan.

Fundraising and community support are crucial for the department that handles everything from medical treatment to firefighting, along with search and rescue operations.

“We are targeting funds from this Dayton Daze towards the expansion of the Lake Mary Ronan fire hall,” said Zoe Lilja, who serves as secretary and treasurer for the department. 

She said the department already has the building doors ready for the expansion to accommodate two large trucks. Volunteers want to add two additional wings to the firehouse to house and winter additional vehicles.  

Lilja also said previous Dayton Daze fundraising activities funded projects like a new tanker/tender truck, a vital sign monitor, thermal imager and enhanced communications equipment.


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