A donation from Twin Sisters Hermann Sons Lodge No. 138 will be helping the West Volunteer Fire Department replace equipment lost when a fertilizer plant in West exploded in April.
Hermann Sons Grand President/CEO Buddy Preuss and Grand Vice President-Fraternal Kim Krueger recently presented donations totaling $12,286 to West Fire Chief George Nors.
Operating in Texas as a fraternal benefit life insurance society since 1861, Hermann Sons is organized into 137 lodges across the state of Texas. Twin Sisters Lodge was one of 79 lodges contributing to the effort. Donations also came from 16 individual donors and the Grand Lodge itself.
Fifteen people were killed when the fertilizer plant in West exploded on the night of April 17. Most of those were first responders who were on the scene when the blast occurred. Besides the lives lost, three fire trucks and thousands of dollars worth of fire-fighting gear were destroyed in the fire.
The Grand Lodge established the “Helping West Recover – First Responders Fund” soon after the tragedy and lodges and individual members immediately began to send donations.
“The response to this fund-raising effort has been heartwarming,” Grand Vice President Krueger said. “Hermann Sons members are known for their generosity and this outpouring of support for the community of West is further evidence of that generosity.”
Grand President Preuss told the fire chief, "Hermann Sons members will continue to pray for you, your community and your department. We know money cannot replace everything you lost that day."
Chief Nors said that besides replacing equipment, donations have been used to help the widows and children of the men who died.
Hermann Sons offers its members a variety of life insurance plans and annuity products plus other services.
The more than 72,000 members have access to a wide range of fraternal benefits, including a youth camp and dance program for junior members and a retirement home for older members.