2nd-annual Owen Sheardown Memorial Car Wash this weekend

September 5, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

Members of the Orangeville Fire Department will come together once again this weekend to remember one of their own. 

Following a successful inaugural event last summer, around 20 local firefighters will be on hand at the Orangeville Fire Hall on Dawson Road on Saturday for the second-annual Owen Sheardown Memorial Car Wash. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., residents can enjoy a personal car wash from a firefighter, with donations benefitting an organization that “really stepped up to the plate” following Owen’s passing last February.

“We’re very happy to be able to bring this event back for a second year. Owen was a great man and a member of our family and we want to continue to support this cause,” Fire Chief Ron Morden told the Citizen. “This year, all proceeds will go to Camp F.A.C.E.S (Family and Children of Emergency Services), a support camp dedicated to helping individuals who have suffered the loss of a family member who was involved with an emergency service provider.”

The Camp F.A.C.E.S. initiative is designed to provide an environment of encouragement and support for children and families of emergency service personnel. Its focus is to provide opportunities for growth, relationships, leadership and development through education, conversation, activity and creative support. The organization’s support camp offers assistance to surviving families of line of duty deaths, suicide and sudden death.

Both the Sheardown family and members of the Orangeville Fire Department received some level of support from Camp F.A.C.E.S. following Owen’s untimely death following a short battle with cancer. 

Prior to his passing, Owen had spent five years as a volunteer firefighter with the local department. Chief Morden spoke of the huge impression Owen made during his stint with the department.

“We hire new people year, after year, after year. Some firefighters come and go, some move to different areas, some get hired on full-time elsewhere, so we do go through quite a roster of firefighters at times,” Chief Morden told the Citizen last year. “But there’s always a few that really stick with you. Owen was one of those guys. He was here for a short time, just under five years, but he made a great impact on our whole department.”

While he excelled in many areas, Owen specialized in auto extrication, becoming so well-versed that he was tasked with teaching his fellow firefighters about the different tools and techniques involved in that aspect of the job. Chief Morden described Owen as a sponge – wanting to absorb as much information and knowledge as possible during his time with the local department.

Last year’s car wash fundraiser raked in more than $6,000 – with all funds going to Owen’s three children and two step-children. This second-annual event will operate much in the same way as last time, with no set charge for car washes and firefighters instead accepting donations from those in attendance.

“This is such a worthy cause. Camp F.A.C.E.S. really opened up to us last year and didn’t ask any questions – the family and our department had access to services with absolutely no questions asked,” Mr. Morden said. “Anything we can do to give back, we’d like to do.”

The car wash will take place at the local Fire Hall, located at 10 Dawson Road. For more information, search ‘The 2nd Annual Owen Sheardown Memorial Car Wash’ on Facebook.

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