Fire fighters offer a helping hand to family that suffered tragic loss

By CAROLINE MURRAY

caroline.murray@recordernews.com

FONDA -- Tuesday night, the town of Mohawk Volunteer Fire Department donated nearly $2,500 to a local family whose daughter unexpectedly passed away late last year.

Firefighters held a fundraiser last month, and donated the proceeds to the Surnear family of Fonda at its fire commissioners' meeting Tuesday.

David and Lisa Surnear's daughter Shea Surnear, passed away at 7 years old in November. Firefighters said they wanted to help out with funeral costs.

Fire Chief Jim Lovisa Lovisa said his son was a classmate of Shea Surnear's, and that she was a part of their community.

Lovisa credited his son for the idea of helping the family. His son approached him and asked if he would help him raise money.

Lovisa said that after speaking with his son, his wife and the fire department, the group organized a breakfast benefit.

"The outreach of the community has shown us the true meaning of humanity," said Lisa Surnear, the mother of Shea Surnear.

Lisa Surnear, her husband David Surnear Jr. and two sons, Steven Surnear, 9, and Skyler Surnear, 5, were present to accept the contribution.

Humbled by the generosity, the Surnears thanked everyone as they were leaving the fire department.

On the fire department's Facebook page they posted an invitation about last month's event.

"Shea Surnear, this little girl loved everyone she came in contact with and had a heart of gold. Shea holds a special place in the hearts of members in this fire department," part of the post stated.

Lovisa said the benefit went well and it was enjoyable because it was for a good cause.

The Surnear family was present for the breakfast as well.

"Small communities bring people together," said Lisa Surnear.