Saturday: Worthington Firefighters to host annual 'Keep the Kids Warm' Fish Fry and Silent Auction

Firefighters, family and friends of the Worthington Fire Territory will host their 9th annual “Keep the Kids Warm” Fish Fry and Silent Auction from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. this Saturday, October 27, at the Worthington Fire Station.   

This donation from Season’s Greetings in Bloomfield is one of many great items donated for the Silent Auction in the Worthington Firefighters fundraising event this Saturday. Photo Courtesy of Amanda Hale.

This donation from Season’s Greetings in Bloomfield is one of many great items donated for the Silent Auction in the Worthington Firefighters fundraising event this Saturday. Photo Courtesy of Amanda Hale.

This event includes music and door prizes in addition to great food and good company.

The cost of the meal is a donation with all proceeds going to purchase warm winter gear, including coats, hats, gloves and shoes for children in the White River Valley School District who are in need of these items.

Fire Chief Kyle Steward says everyone is invited and donations both large and small are appreciated.

“It’s that time of year again. Get your money out and bring your appetite,” said Steward. “All the money donated will be used for kids in our local schools.”

Donations for the silent auction have been rolling in and are still being accepted.

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Three awarded VFW National Public Servant Awards for Indiana

National Public Servant Awards Ceremony at Worthington VFW Post 7117 on Saturday, July 14, 2018: Past Indiana VFW Commander Johnny Capps, Indiana State Police Trooper Randall Van Arsdale, Worthington Fire Chief Kyle Steward, Worthington Captain Terry Koons, Worthington VFW Quartermaster Ken Stalcup and Commander Kermit Wilcox. Photos by Anna Rochelle.

National Public Servant Awards Ceremony at Worthington VFW Post 7117 on Saturday, July 14, 2018: Past Indiana VFW Commander Johnny Capps, Indiana State Police Trooper Randall Van Arsdale, Worthington Fire Chief Kyle Steward, Worthington Captain Terry Koons, Worthington VFW Quartermaster Ken Stalcup and Commander Kermit Wilcox. Photos by Anna Rochelle.

Three local men who received VFW National Public Servant Awards Saturday in a short ceremony at Worthington VFW Post 7117 were obviously humbled to receive such a prestigious award.

Those receiving the National Public Servant Awards for Indiana included EMT and Firefighter, Captain Terry Koons, Indiana State Police Trooper Randall Van Arsdale, and Firefighter/EMT/Fire Chief, Sgt. Kyle Steward.

The VFW National Public Servant Awards recognize individuals who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve the community and do so in a manner in keeping with the ideals and values of the VFW organization.

The awards are given annually by the National VFW organization to one emergency medical technician (EMT), one firefighter and one law enforcement officer in each state.

This year in Indiana, the three recipients in the state were nominated by Worthington VFW Post 7117 where Quartermaster Ken Stalcup said he feels this is an important program because these people put their lives on the line every day and it’s important to recognize the contributions they make.  

It was a quiet ceremony attended by friends, family and VFW members. After the presentation, all enjoyed a meal and snacks provided by the Worthington VFW.

The awards were officially presented to all three by Past VFW State Commander Johnny Capps, assisted by Worthington VFW Commander Kermit Wilcox and Quartermaster Ken Stalcup.

Commander Capps thanked Stalcup, chairman of the nominating committee, and the local post for an outstanding job in selecting these candidates.

To the three recipients, Capps said, “As combat veterans, we know what it’s like to serve and we thank you for your service and your commitment.”

All three recipients received beautiful certificates in large leather-like bound cases with the photo and signature of the National VFW Commander, which underscored the significance of the award.

Below: Photos of the presentations and certificates with biographical information on each recipient.

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 Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
VFW National Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Award
Awarded to
Captain Terry Koons

In recognition and utmost appreciation of his dedication and selfless service to the Worthington Fire Territory.

During Terry Koons’ outstanding career, he has demonstrated a record of extraordinary and courageous service to the community and the nation. His exceptional devotion is illustrative of the esteemed core values and traditions of the profession of emergency responders, further evidenced by the high degree of admiration and respect from both his peers and the local public he serves.

Captain Terry Koons is truly a premier example of all EMTs and this honor reflects the proudest ideals and values of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

Terry Koons receiving VFW National Public Servant Award.

Terry Koons receiving VFW National Public Servant Award.

Terry Koons is a firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT) who has served with the Worthington Fire Territory, formerly known as the Worthington-Jefferson Township Volunteer Fire Department, as a volunteer firefighter/first responder/EMT for over 41 years.

He’s a graduate of Martinsville High School and currently employed full-time by New Fashion Pork. He keeps busy with part-time employment in emergency services and continues to volunteer his time with Worthington Fire.

For the last 30 years, Koons has been working part-time as an EMT for the Greene County Ambulance Service – he works shifts out of every GCAS station in the county.

For 21 years, Koons has been working part-time as a firefighter/fire rescue/EMT at the Ellettsville Fire Department.

In the past, Koons also worked part-time, for about 10 years, at the Wayne Township Fire Department in Indianapolis and from there, back in the mid-1980s, Koons others from Worthington Fire brought the first responder program back to Worthington and Greene County. This was a significant turning point in the service the local volunteer department was able to provide to the community as they started training all of Worthington’s firefighters to also serve as emergency first responders.

Koons is a Captain with Worthington Fire Territory, serves as a firefighter and EMT, plus he is the department’s training officer.

Koons resides south of Worthington, is an active member of the First Christian Church in Linton and several other civic organizations including the Worthington V.F.W. Auxiliary, the Sons of the American Legion, the Switz City Masonic Lodge, Terre Haute Scottish Rite and Greene County Shrine Club.

He is the proud father of two children, Tara (Koons) Shadoin and Kyle Koons, and grandfather of four.

When asked about other awards, he declined to list any and humbly nodded to the just-received VFW National Public Servant Award.         

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 Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
VFW National Law Enforcement Award
Awarded to
State Trooper Randall Van Arsdale

In recognition and sincere appreciation of his dedication and selfless service to the Indiana State Police.

During Randall Van Arsdale’s outstanding career, he has maintained a record of highly professional and exemplary service to the community and the nation. His extraordinary commitment clearly illustrates the proud core values and traditions of the law enforcement profession, further highlighted by the degree of admiration and respect of both his peers and the local public he serves.

State Trooper Randall Van Arsdale is truly an exceptional example of all who serve the community and this honor reflects the proud ideals and high standards of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

Randall Van Arsdale receiving VFW National Public Servant Award.

Randall Van Arsdale receiving VFW National Public Servant Award.

Indiana State Police Trooper Randall Van Arsdale is assigned to the Indiana State Police Bloomington Post. His primary patrol area is Owen County but he frequently patrols in Greene County as well.

Van Arsdale has been a trooper since 2012 after working his way up the law enforcement ladder gaining experience in several areas over the years.

He is a graduate of White River Valley High School and was employed by the Owen County Sheriff’s Department as a jail officer for five years - his first job in law enforcement. He then served as the Gosport Town Marshal for two and one-half years before moving into motor carrier enforcement. He served eight and one-half years in the Motor Carrier Enforcement Division of the Indiana State Police before his appointment as an ISP Trooper.

He is also a member of the T.I.P. Team, the ISP’s Tactical Intervention Platoon, a riot and tactical crowd control squad with special training, and he is still certified as a motor carrier enforcement officer.

Van Arsdale resides in southern Owen County and is the Youth Leader at the Jefferson Baptist Church in Coal City. He and his wife, Brenda Van Arsdale, are the parents of six children.

When asked about other awards he has received during his career, he glanced at the National Public Servant Award, shook his head and said there was nothing to mention that compares to this honor from the National VFW.

He did, however, want to recognize his father. Van Arsdale came from a large family – he was the youngest of eight children. His father, Elbert Van Arsdale, served for 35 years in the Indiana State Police Motor Carrier Enforcement Division.      

Kyle Steward Certificate.jpg

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
VFW National Firefighter Award
Awarded to
Fire Chief Kyle Steward

In recognition and utmost appreciation of his dedication and selfless service to the Worthington Fire Territory.

During Kyle Steward’s outstanding career, he has displayed an exceptional record of exemplary and courageous service to the community and the nation. His extraordinary commitment is in keeping with the esteemed core values and traditions of the firefighter profession, further manifested by the high degree of admiration and respect of both his peers and the local public he serves.

Fire Chief Kyle Steward is truly a role model to all firefighters and this honor reflects the proudest ideals of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

Kyle Steward receiving VFW National Public Servant Award.

Kyle Steward receiving VFW National Public Servant Award.

Kyle Steward is the Fire Chief of the Worthington Fire Territory and he is employed full-time by Bloomington Fire Department.

Steward’s father is a long-serving member of Worthington Fire so Steward became interested in firefighting early in life then followed in his father’s footsteps.

He graduated White River Valley High School in 2002 then got a degree in Fire Science from IVY Tech. For three years while in college, he worked part-time with the Greene County Ambulance Service.

But he’s been serving as a volunteer firefighter with the Worthington Fire Department for 17 years. He well remembers that he started in 2001, one week before 9-11, and now he is Fire Chief.

He’s also a Sgt. at the Bloomington Fire Department where he has been serving as a full-time firefighter/EMT for 13 years.

Steward resides in Worthington and is active in the Folsom Memorial United Methodist Church in Worthington. He is also a member of the Worthington VFW Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion in Worthington.

He and his wife Alison Steward have two children, Hank and Eli. Steward is the son of Mike and Jane Steward of Worthington and he also wanted to recognize his grandfather, Harry Freeman, a veteran of World War II who served as a past Commander of Worthington VFW Post 7117.

Steward wanted to express his thanks and appreciation to Ken Stalcup and everyone at Post 7117 for the nomination.

“Truly is an honor,” said Steward.

When asked about other awards he has received, he also declined to list any.

“As far as awards, I have received several in my short career,” said Steward, “but nothing as honorable as receiving one from a national organization that serves those who have fought and died defending our great nation.”