Community comes together to help former fire chief in Burrillville; Benefit planned for March 6


BURRILLVILLE – Friends, family and former colleagues of one man who has served his town for decades are coming together next month to support him in his time of need with a benefit to be held at Uncle Ronnie’s Red Tavern on Monday, March 6.

Augustine “Gus” Eddy suffered a severe stroke on Thursday, Jan. 12, which friends say left him with numerous deficits, affecting both his movement and speech.

A lifelong Burrillville resident, Eddy dedicated years to the Harrisville Fire District, and was a former chief of the Nasonville Fire Department.

“Gus has been a fixture in the Burrillville community, with more than 30 years of continuous service in both fire and emergency medical services in the town,” noted Nicholas Brooks, vice president of Harrisville Hose Co. No. 1, in a letter to the local business community. “While his spirit remains high, Gus’s road to recovery is extensive, and we are asking our community for assistance.”

“One of our own needs your help,” Brooks wrote.

Harrisville Fire Chief Michael Gingell said the upcoming event aims to help Eddy’s family with all of the expenses they’re unable to cover, from home bills to medical needs.

“We’re looking a little bit more long term,” Gingell said, noting the group hopes to raise funds for Eddy’s future expenses, such as home alterations in preparation for a life with more limited mobility.

The fundraiser comes as the result of collaboration between members of the former chief’s family and Hose Co. #1 – a social organization for members of the Harrisville Fire District. In addition to selling tickets to the event – to feature buffet-style chicken dinner – organizers are also asking local businesses and organizations for donations of goods or services, such as raffle items or baskets.

“We’re very thankful for what we’ve already received and the support of the community,” Gingell said, adding that the group is hoping more donors will come forward once they get the word out.

Ticket sales, Gingell said, have been good so far, but will close soon as the restaurant needs a head count by Tuesday, Feb. 28, and none will be sold at the door. The owners, he noted, know Eddy well and have generously offered to dedicate the whole restaurant to the event.

“They have graciously opened their doors,” Gingell said.

The event will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. at the restaurant at 2692 Victory Highway in Burrillville, and Gingell notes that guests do not necessarily need to show up right at 4, as the buffet will remain open.

Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased by contacting Gingell at (401) 692-7267 or, or Brenda Keeble at (401) 935-6740 or

Questions about the event and inquiries about donation of raffle prizes can also be directed to Brooks at the Harrisville Fire Department at (401) 568-5110.

Those who are unable to attend the event who would like to make a monetary donation can do so at

Gingell said he visits Eddy regularly and that the former chief is doing well, but has a long road to recovery. Eddy, he notes, is aware of their efforts and grateful for all of the support the community has already shown.

“On behalf of Gus, he does appreciate the effort,” Gingell said. “Gus has truly been a Burrillville community servant in fire and EMS for many years. He’s truly working hard to get his health back.”

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