EDISON, NJ — Television personality Rachael Ray and actor Denis Leary brought holiday cheer to township firefighters, honoring them this week for their community service with a special buffet luncheon at the Route 27 firehouse.
The celebrity duo came bearing a holiday gift, announcing a $25,000 grant that helped the Fire Department acquire new fire training equipment to teach families and children how to properly use fire extinguishers at home, work and school, Chief Brian Latham said.
The grant comes from the Leary Firefighters Foundation, which Leary created after a fatal 1999 warehouse fire in Worcester, Mass., claimed the life of his cousin, a childhood friend and five other firemen. Ray serves on the foundation’s board of directors.
“Edison is extremely grateful to the Leary Firefighters Foundation for its generosity, providing our firefighters with funding for such a valuable training tool to help keep our families safe,” Mayor Thomas Lankey said.
“It is especially wonderful that Mr. Leary joined Rachael Ray at our firehouse and they spent so much of time getting to know our firefighters and recognizing them for their dedicated community service,” Lankey said.
Ray created the recipes for Monday’s firehouse luncheon, prepared by her friend, Manhattan caterer Mary Giuliani, a frequent guest on Rachael’s popular daytime TV show.
Township Fire Marshal Timothy Langan applied for a Leary Foundation grant earlier this year, saying his office gets many requests for demonstrations about how to properly use fire extinguishers. It hosts many annual instruction sessions at schools, community meetings, hospitals and nursing homes.
Edison is one of several fire departments across the country to receive Leary Foundation grants this year to help them acquire new firefighting technology and life-saving equipment.
The celebrity visit to Edison Firehouse #4, on Route 27, will be featured on the “Rachael Ray Show,” Monday, Dec. 23. It will air at 2 p.m. on ABC Channel 7 in the New York area and ABC Channel 6 in the Philadelphia area.