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Jefferson student organizes ‘Touch a Truck’ event

By Staff | May 3, 2019

Noah, Avery and Lucas Bala, five-year-old triplets from Charles Town, pose with Shepherdstown firefighter Jack Jensen after exploring the Company 3 fire truck on Saturday. Toni Milbourne

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION — Marissa Muth, a senior at Jefferson High School and a member of the school’s National Honor Society, was inspired by an event she attended with her father in neighboring Loudoun County.

“My dad is a firefighter and we went to a ‘Touch a Truck’ event in Ashburn [Virginia],” Muth said. “I got the inspiration from that to help organize one here,” she continued.

The ‘Touch a Truck’ event, held Saturday at Jefferson High offered a venue to raise funds for the National Honor Society as well as a community outreach event to allow folks to meet various members of the service community.

Honor Society faculty sponsor Amanda Biller indicated that the event, while a fundraiser, was more about bringing the community together.

“Everything is free except food items, but we are accepting donations,” Biller said. “Our goal is to raise $300 as well as to connect members of the community, especially the kids.”

Attendees at the event could explore fire trucks, rescue vehicles and police cruisers. In addition, they could look at farm equipment and tractors. Members of various service departments answered questions and allowed youngsters to explore their vehicles. Firefighters and police officers explained all of the features of the items in their vehicles and allowed the children to experiment with various pieces of apparatus.

“We are all about service at Jefferson High School,” said Biller. “We wanted to make a connection with the service people from the county and this was a great way to do that.”

“It also helps develop leadership in our students,” Biller added. “We have approximately 15 students working the event,” she said, “and the are learning the value of leadership.”

Biller went on to explain that Muth was responsible for putting the entire program together.

“She made all the connections with the various departments and others,” Biller said.

Muth said that she had never seen an event similar to the one she attended in Ashburn so she thought it would be a good way to get members of the community to interact.

“In the fire community,” she said, “you know what goes on, but if you’re not part of it then you don’t really know what they do.”

She went on to say that she hoped the event would help alleviate some negative stigma associated with those in the service communities such as police and fire and rescue workers. The ability for those who serve in the community to share with the residents they serve helps open lines of communication both ways.

Muth has been a member of Jefferson’s National Honor Society for two years. She plans to attend West Virginia University’s School of Nursing next fall.