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Marion Community Fund Awarded Grant to Marion Township Fire Department

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The Chief Jack Holliday Memorial Fund at Marion Community Fund awarded a grant to the Marion Township Fire Department, who is observing October as national Fire Prevention Month. The award will allow the department to purchase smoke detectors and batteries and install them for Marion area residents whose homes are not equipped.

Members of the department have gone door-to-door in the township every Saturday and Sunday this month and installed smoke detectors. The grant from the Holliday Fund will be used to purchase lithium ion smoke detectors; which, once installed and activated, function for 10 years.

“If the home does not have a detector, we install one,” said Chief Ben Meddles. “If they already have one, we test it and, if necessary, install new batteries.  We also do random checks for smoke detectors in homes when we go out on medical calls.”

Established in 2014, the Chief Jack Holliday Memorial Fund was created to honor its namesake by wife, Margie, and children, Jack Holliday Jr. and Susan Kennedy.  The family serves as donor advisors to the fund and favors awards which address firefighter training and paramedic training, as well as fire safety needs in the community.  This endowed fund will award a grant in Chief Holliday’s memory every year.

Chief Jack L. Holliday Sr. made a lifelong career as a firefighter, beginning as a volunteer with the Sylvania Fire Department, near Toledo, where he was born.  He served at the Sylvania and Ottawa Hills Fire Departments, 1959-1975. Then, after serving one year as a fire chief in Fort Hays, Kansas, moved to Marion to become fire chief for the Marion Township Fire Department, where he served for 18 years until his retirement in 1994.

Holliday was instrumental in the founding of the Tri-Rivers/Marion General Hospital School of Paramedicine. He believed in being “tough but fair,” and is remembered for his decisive action and concern for his paramedics, firefighters, and family.

Born in 1935, Holliday was a graduate of Burnham High School and a U.S. Army veteran.

Anyone can contribute to the fund in Holliday’s memory at the Foundation or online at The Holliday Fund is among the 200+ charitable funds at Marion Community Foundation.  The Foundation was created in 1998 and annually awards more than $1.5 million in the form of student scholarships and community grants to local nonprofit organizations.

More information is available by calling 740-387-9704 or visiting the Foundation’s offices inside the Stengel-True Museum at 504 S. State St. or online at