Sa’fyre Terry gives back to community

Sa’Fyre Terry, left, poses with Miss Montgomery County Sara James, Miss Fonda Fair Teen Lillian Lighthall and Miss Montgomery County’s Outstanding Teen Alexis Houser. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Lorey)

FLORIDA — More than two dozen emergency services personnel were joined by three area title holders to help unload a tractor-trailer at an abandoned one-room school house on Route 30 on Sunday as part of an effort by a now 10-year-old sole arson fire survivor to give back to other child fire-victims, according to a news release.

Sa’fyre Terry received a warm welcome that included emergency vehicles with flashing lights, sirens and no shortage of smiles and hugs on Sunday morning while being greeted as a now official part of the Montgomery County community.

Sunday morning’s official welcome came after Terry and her family recently began transitioning the historic Scotch Bush School House into what will now be a sorting and storage facility for much of what Terry received as Christmas gifts from people throughout the world after her 2015 Christmas card request went viral.

Terry received more than two million cards, letters and other pieces of mail including countless large gifts from around the world.

This month marks the 5-year anniversary of the tragic Schenectady house fire at 438 Hulett St. that killed Sa’fyre’s father, David and her three siblings on May 2, 2013.

Federal investigators ruled the fire as an arson.

A $40,000 reward remains at large for information leading to arrest of the person or persons responsible for the fire. .

Much of what Sa’fyre received after her 2015 Christmas wish was eventually loaded into a tractor trailer where it remained stored as she continued a major portion of her still ongoing recovery.

After sitting in storage for what has now been just over two years, the tractor-trailer load of special gifts was finally unloaded in it’s entirety through coordination by Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Jeff Smith and several officials with the Montgomery County Emergency Services Office.

The unloading effort took about two hours through additional collaborative efforts by firefighters and other members with the town of Florida Volunteer Fire Department under the direction of Chief Les Bramer.

Also aiding the effort were three area title holders including Sara James, Miss Montgomery County 2018, Alexis Houser, Miss Montgomery County’s Outstanding Teen 2018 — both with the Miss Fulton County and Miss Montgomery County Scholarship Organization and Lillian Lighthall — Miss Fonda Fair’s Teen — a title with Miss Fonda Fair Pageant through the annual Fonda Fair.

All of the items unloaded from the trailer will be used to help support area child fire-victims and their families according to a Terry family spokesman.

By Josh Bovee

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