"Ole Smoky" Project Completed - Thanks to the support of over 70 volunteers and the partnership of the Fort Bend YMCA and City of Arcola, over 300 Smoke Alarms were installed in low income homes in and around Arcola, Texas.


Partners In Arcola/Fresno Safety (From Left To Right) - Raymond Franks, YMCA Board Chair, Matt Cornell, Inspector FB County Fire Marshall, Charlie Myer, Sugar Land Rotary President, Bouche Mickey, YMCA Outreach Chair & Rotary Member, Arnold Brown, City Manager of Arcola, Gladys Brumfield, YMCA Executive Director and Councilwoman Mary Etta Anderson, City of Arcola.


Arcola, TX - With almost two years in the planning and over 60 volunteers in attendance, the Sugar Land Rotary Club, Fort Bend YMCA and several other community partners, came together on an overcast day in March to provide Arcola/Fresno area residents with smoke alarms.  On that day, almost 100 area homes had two smoke alarms installed by the project volunteers.  In addition, over the coming weeks, another 150-200 homes will get smoke alarms installed by the City of Arcola and the Fresno Volunteer Fire Department, with alarms provided free by the project.  "We have waited and dreamed of this day for a long time", stated Mary Etta Anderson, Arcola Councilwoman and one of the Project Leaders. 


The Sugar Land Rotary Club and the Fort Bend YMCA were the primary planners of the project.  Thanks to a grant from the Rotary District 5890, the Smoke Alarms were made available for free to all the area residents.  For the Rotary Club, Marshall Whichard led up the organization efforts as well as the coordination of the grant.  The Fort Bend YMCA, in coordination with the Rotary Club, led up much of the planning and development for the project under the direction of Bouche Mickey, YMCA Board Member, and the YMCA Outreach Committee.  In addition to the YMCA and Rotary, many other organizations played key roles.  The City of Arcola and the Fresno Fire Department were both instrumental in the recruitment and identification project homes, installation day support as well as committing to installing the remaining alarms after the initial project day.  Several Arcola/Fresno area churches provided volunteers for the event as well as aided in the planning and development of the project.  Volunteers for the event came from several community organizations including, Volunteer Fort Bend, Aetna, Dulles HS NHS, Sugar Land Masonic Lodge, PilgrimChurch, ChristianLifeFellowshipChurch, Prairie View A & M Cooperative Extension, Exchange Club of Sugar Land, Church of Jesus - Arcola, Word of Resurrection Church and the Fresh Water Supply District #1 - Fresno.


Immediately after the installation of the Alarms, a free community lunch and party was held for all area residents and project volunteers.  The donation of food was provided by Champion Technologies and Frito Lay.  The barbequing was provided personally by Commissioner Tom Stavinoha.  Thanks to a donation by Aetna, several door prizes and gift cards were awarded to area residents at the party.  In addition, kids and families were treated to a D.J., provided by Sal Aviles, and a moon walk, provided by Merryland Moonwalks.  "We were just so blessed to have so many organizations come together to make this project and party a reality, and more importantly, make the Arcola/Fresno area residents safer", stated Charlie Myer, Sugar Land Rotary President and YMCA Regional Community Director.  For more information about Sugar Land Rotary or the YMCA, go to www.sugarlandrotary.org or www.ymcahouston.org .