Donation given in man’s memory

CHAMPION – The township fire department received a donation of a 2008 Silverado fire pickup given in memory of Charles Banks, a longtime community member and businessman who died in 2013.

Russell Banks, owner of RD Banks Chevrolet and son of Charles Banks, said just as his father made a presentation in 1966 to the fire department of a new chief’s vehicle, he and his family wanted to make a donation of a fire vehicle to the department in memory of his father.

He said what makes the recent donation unique is his father made the similar donation more than 45 years ago. Present at the 1966 donation was then-Trustee Adrian Hovanic, and present for the recent donation is current trustee Jeff Hovanic, son of Adrian.

”I wanted Jeff and I to be there for the donation because our dads were in the 1966 picture,” Banks said.

He said his father would have wanted the fire department to have such a donation since they were always good to him.

”Just as my dad and his generation believed in his community, I want this generation to also believe and support the community,” Banks said.

”My dad always supported the fire department and the schools. He always taught us to support our community because they will support you. He said at election time he always voted for the schools, police and fire,” Banks said.

He said he knew the fire department was a short a vehicle and needed the pickup truck.

”The fire department is here for this community and my dad would have wanted them to have this truck. I called (Chief) John Hickey and told him we wanted to give him the truck, and so I drove it over,” Banks said.

He said any time he sees the vehicle drive by the car dealership for fire and rescue calls, it reminds him of his dad. The vehicle backs up the fire trucks and squads on calls.

Banks said also a defibrillator training device was donated to Champion schools for school nurse Becky Bucco to teach the staff at all three buildings how to use a defibrillator to help save lives if someone goes into cardiac arrest.

”We received this through a grant from the Ohio Auto Dealers Association,” he said.