On October 30th the Larchmont Yacht Club was the scene of a five-alarm fundraising effort by the Larchmont Historical Society (LHS) as the group hosted its first Firemen’s Ball in many decades. The “Roaring 20’s Firemen’s Ball” attracted nearly 200 guests who arrived in period costumes from the heady era of Prohibition. According to LHS President Colette Rodbell, the evening was held to raise funds for Larchmont’s Engine One, a 1922 American LaFrance fire truck, an important piece of this nation’s fire history which is undergoing extensive restoration. “It is our goal,” said Rodbell, “to restore this magnificent machine and bring it back to Larchmont to use for education and recreational purposes, as well as for generating income.”
Larchmont’s own James McCaffrey, a lead actor in the FOX television show “Rescue Me,” a series about the New York Fire Department, ignited the crowd into purchasing raffle and silent auction donations which in the end netted nearly $8,000 for the engine restoration fund. According to the LHS’s Fire History Committee, the fundraising effort began in 2008 with a sizeable donation from the Orans Family in memory of Jacob Orans, a Larchmont volunteer firefighter. Many of the area’s current and retired firefighters were in attendance with their families. Glenn Corbett, Technical Editor of Fire Fighting Magazine, brought some of his fascinating collection of vintage fire fighting apparatus for all to enjoy.
In addition to flapper attire, feathers and fedoras, many of the guests ‘costumes paid homage to past fire fighting attire. Members of the LHS Fire History Committee wore parade-worthy firefighting costumes dating from the 1860s, complete with antique helmets illuminated with real flame throwing torches!
Guests were invited to learn to dance the Charleston, with music supplied by Michael Cumella of “Crank Up Phonograph DJ Experience.” Cumella, an expert on period music, has been host of WFMU Radio’s Antique Phonographic Music Program since 1995. Larchmont resident and LHS member David Calkins supplied the wine, compliments of his company Wine Gems @Perrillos, and Heineken donated the beer.