On September 10, 2019, Ideal Concepts President John Pequeno lost his home and beloved mixed breed terrier to a house fire.
“Losing our pup Marshall to the fire was the worst part, and adding to that, losing virtually all of my belongings other than the clothes on my back was just devastating overall,” John said.
As news of the tragedy spread, John received many messages from people who wanted to help. John set up a GoFundMe, but the proceeds weren’t for him. Instead, the money would go to the 9 fire companies who responded to the house fire.
“I was humbled by everything they were willing to do to try to save anything they could, and especially Marshall,” John said. “Every fireman on the ground, including the Fire Chiefs, are volunteers, and they are there for any call that might come in, no matter how minor or truly perilous. They can work for free, but they can't do their work without fire trucks, gear, training, and other necessities.”
The fundraiser was picked up by local news outlets and quickly reached its original goal of $7,000. As more and more people continued to donate, John increased the fundraising goal to $15,000. That goal was met a few days later.
When all was said and done, $16,300 was raised for what John dubbed “The Rising Sun Fire Brigade” (including $700 that Ideal Concepts employees donated to John in the first few days after the fire). John added $1,700 to make it an even $18,000.
John met with members from each of the 9 fire departments to personally thank them. He gave each department a check for $2,000.
“It's the absolute minimum I can do for you guys, with everything you have done for me,” John told the firemen. John added that he was proud of his family, friends, neighbors, employees, business partners, and individuals from around the country for thinking of him in his time of need and donating to the brave individuals who fought the fire.
Here are the departments that make up the Rising Sun Fire Brigade:
- Upper Nazareth Fire Company
- Vigilance Hose Co. No.1, Nazareth Fire Department
- Hecktown Volunteer Fire Company
- Palmer Municipal Fire Department
- Bath Volunteer Fire Department
- East Allen Township Volunteer Fire Department
- Northampton Fire Department
- Bushkill Township Volunteer Fire Department
- Hanover Township Volunteer Fire Department