Haire celebrated for his heroic work

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 4, 2004

Many times our heroes go unnoticed. However, Unicel is doing something to change that.

The company has begun a program recognizing &uot;Hometown Heroes&uot; around the south. This week the Greenville store presented their award.

John Haire of the Greenville Fire Department was honored Friday as a &uot;Home town Hero&uot; at the Unicel store in Greenville for his hard work and dedication to fire service.

A volunteer firefighter for 10 years, Haire is also a full-time building inspector for the City of Greenville. In addition to participating in training exercises and responding to emergency situations, Haire is devoted to spearheading a haunted house project to benefit Greenville Firefighters Association.

Haire has been volunteering nearly 40 hours a week to prepare for the haunted house. An old residence on the corner of Highway 10 East and Norman Road was donated for the haunted house Halloween fundraiser and Haire is working to renovate the building in his free time.

The Greenville Fire Department’s haunted house will be open every weekend in October and the week before Halloween.

On Friday, Unicel hosted its first &uot;Hometown Heroes&uot; celebration at its retail center at Gateway Plaza to honor Haire and the Greenville Fire Department. At approximately 12 p.m., Unicel presented Haire with a Hometown Heroes certificate. The company also donated $250 to be used by the Greenville Fire Department or a local charity of choice.

Store manager Tonya McLurely said it was an honor to have Haire as the recipient.

&uot;We are all very proud of John and glad to be able to give him this award,&uot; said McClurely. &uot;We are very honored to be able to do this for him today.&uot;

Haire was very humble about winning the award.

&uot;I am very grateful for the award, but I am not a hero,&uot; said Haire. &uot;The real heroes are the one’s that are out there every day. I do appreciate it a lot though.&uot;

Hometown Heroes is a way for Unicel to recognize the efforts of firefighters and emergency personnel in Greenville and throughout Unicel’s South Region. Unicel stores in Alabama, Kansas and Mississippi will donate approximately $6,750 to local fire departments as part of the hometown heroes program.

Regional Vice President Rich Shultz said it was an honor to be able to recognize these hometown heroes.

&uot;At Unicel, we feel privileged to honor the men and women who serve the communities we all cherish by putting their lives on the line every day,&uot; said Shultz. &uot;Unicel is proud to recognize John Haire as a Hometown hero.&uot;