Harold Cummings, of Winfield, has been doing two things for a long time -- perfecting his barbecue recipe and volunteering for North Columbia Fire and Rescue.
Mr. Cummings joined the department when it began as the Winfield Volunteer Fire Department in 1982 and has helped bring notoriety to the department's barbecue fundraisers.
Harold Cummings, of Winfield, holds a photo of his eldest daughter, Joyce Ann Lewis, 42, of Thomson, who needs a kidney transplant.
Photo by Valerie Rowell/Morris News Service
And now he is joining the other volunteers of the department's Division 4 in Winfield for a day of chicken barbecue beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday to raise money in his eldest daughter's name for the Transplant Foundation, a non-profit organization that strives to provide services for transplant recipients, increases organ donation through community education and funding transplant research.
Mr. Cummings said his daughter, Joyce Lewis, 42, of Thomson, has had high blood pressure most of her life, which caused renal diseases as a side effect.
"Even when she was growing up in her younger days, she always had high blood pressure and it got down to her kidneys," Mr. Cummings said of his daughter, who needs a kidney transplant and has been on dialysis for four years and currently goes to dialysis in Thomson three times a week.
Mr. Cummings said that his other daughter, Becky Brickhouse, who is a Columbia County school bus driver and lives in Winfield, will be giving her sister a kidney during a surgery scheduled for the beginning of June.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will hopefully help defray the cost of the surgery, $1,000 a month worth of medications and associated costs that Ms. Lewis's Medicare does not cover. Ms. Lewis left her job at Shaw Industries as disabled in July 2001.
Mr. Cummings said the division will be cooking up and selling chicken barbecue plates for $6. Each plate includes half of a barbecued chicken, beans, potato salad and a drink.
Plates will be available at the North Columbia Station 41 at 6285 Cobbham Road in Winfield from 11 a.m. until.
Plates can be pre-ordered by calling the station at 541-0103 and will be available to eat at the station or for take-out, Mr. Cummings said.
"I'm the only one there that has been there since it started," Mr. Cummings said, adding that he has been a part of many fundraisers over the years both for the department and those in need like his daughter. "I sure appreciate them (the firefighters) doing this."
Anyone wishing to make a donation to the foundation can do so by visiting www.transplantfoundation.org or by mailing checks in honor of Joyce Ann Lewis to NTAF, 3475 West Chester Pike, Suite 230, Newtown Square, PA 19073.