Fire Dept. Receives Donation from Goodwill

Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) is pleased to announce the donation of $870 to the Chester Sroka Fire Prevention Fund at the Portage Fire Department.

(Left to Right) Fire Chief Clayton Simonson, Jr., Fire Inspector Craig Ratz, Regional Director of Stores Brian Schroeder

The funds were collected through Goodwill Portage’s round-up donation program. Round-up donations are normally designated for Goodwill SCWI’s community services, but in the wake of the devastating Ram Hotel fire that left one child dead, Goodwill Portage was glad to divert a portion of those funds to the community it calls home in hopes of preventing future tragedies. On Thursday, August 2, Goodwill SCWI Regional Manager presented the check to PFD Fire Inspector Craig Ratz and Fire Chief Clayton Simonson, Jr.

In accepting the donation, Ratz noted the importance of prevention in creating a “brighter, better place to live.”

“The fire service tends to be more reactive than proactive regarding fire safety,” Ratz said. “Smoke alarms, evacuation planning – those are things that are necessary when a fire occurs. The best fire is the one that never starts, and that’s what we’re working on to create a safer community.”

Ratz says the prevention fund is almost completely dependent on donations.

“Donations have slowed in recent years, so this is a real boost for our work.”

The Sroka Fund purchases fire safety materials and supports prevention education for all ages in the Portage Fire District.

“Goodwill Portage is one of 11 stores in the South Central region. The stores exist as the economic driver for Goodwill’s mission services, providing career guidance, supported employment and residential services to people with disabilities, mental health concerns and other barriers to employment and independent living.