TIPP CITY — On Tuesday, members of the Tipp City Foundation, with firefighters and his family present, accepted a donation to the endowment the late Tipp City Fire Chief Steve Kessler created to support local emergency services.
Alisha Lancaster, a supervisor at the Miami County Communication Center, presented the Tipp Foundation with $1,100 collected in memory of Kessler.
After his passing last month, Lancaster collected donations from the county’s fire departments to benefit the Safety First Fund, an endowment Kessler began with the Tipp City Foundation last year. The endowment provides support for emergency services departments in Tipp City and Monroe and Bethel Townships, including equipment purchases and public education.
“My father was a firefighter for forever and my husband used to be a firefighter, so I understand the fellowship and the brotherhood you guys all share,” Lancaster said. “It was something that was very near and dear to my heart and I wanted to do something special for him. I’ve known Steve for quite a while too from dispatch. It was the least I could do.”
Working in dispatch, Lancaster said it was easy for her to contact the various departments in the county and organize a donation. She learned about the Safety First Fund from Kessler’s obituary, which asked people to consider donating to the endowment.
Lancaster presented the donation to members of the foundation and Kessler’s niece, Amy Hackenberger, at a meeting at the Tipp City Fire Department.
“On behalf of the foundation, I would really like to thank you for this donation,” Tipp City Foundation board member Jim Ranft said.
Kessler became the Tipp City Fire Chief in 1998. He was a member of the department for 50 years and served in the U.S. Navy. He also worked at Tip Top Canning and was a member of the American Legion and VFW in Tipp City, Montgomery County Chief’s Association and the Miami County Chief’s Association.
Reach Cecilia Fox at email@example.com.