Patriotic bagpipe music set the tone on Sunday to celebrate a completed 4-H project in the village of Walton.
Over the summer, with the assistance of volunteers, members of the Wild and Wooly Club had painted 14 fire hydrants throughout the village, each hydrant sporting a unique decorative image. After a potluck lunch and a venerable ceremony, a red/white/blue hydrant near the Walton Fire Department was unveiled.
“This hydrant honors the memory of those lost in 9/11,” said 4-H leader Greg Graupman. “It also honors all those who served a last call at the Walton Fire Department.”
The hydrant contains images of a firefighter hat, axe and boots.
“This was a cool project,” said Josh Coffey, 13. “My favorite image to paint was the fire flames on a hydrant near Main Street.”
Josh, and his brothers, Dakota and Dustin, were three of the 27 club members who painted the hydrants.
“It began late spring, when the kids had to ask the village of Walton, owners of the hydrants, for permission,” explained Greg Graupman to a crowd of over 70 people. “The Wild & Wooly members went to the board and were given approval as long as they also asked for permission from the Walton Fire Department.”
“The Fire Department not only gave the Wild and Wooly club permission but also paid for all the paint,” added Graupman.
“We sincerely appreciate Lara Fassler, the Walton Central School art teacher, who volunteered to assist the 4-H members with designs for each hydrant,” said Graupman.
Fassler received a bouquet of flowers at the ceremony.
“Each hydrant had to be wire brushed and primed before it could be painted,” said Graupman.
“Lara Fassler helped the kids design the images,” said Graupman. “Each hydrant has a unique image, mostly animals, but of course, they had to paint one hydrant showing their school spirit. The hydrant is orange and black with a Warrior head and the four sports symbols.”