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      Thomas benefit to be similar to La Plata Soybean Festival

      A community is coming together this weekend to help a man who's always helped his community.

      An all-day fundraiser is planned for this Saturday, July 7, for La Plata firefighter Jerry Thomas, who was burned in a fire at his home a few weeks ago.

      Residents of La Plata embrace Thomas because he's always embraced them.

      "I can't imagine anybody that has a bad word to say about Jerry," Deputy Chief Stan "Rabbi" East of the La Plata Community Fire Protection District.

      Thomas and his wife, Peggie, lost everything when their home burned to the ground in late May. Jerry received first-degree, second-degree and third-degree burns in the blaze.

      The community rolled out the welcome mat when jerry returned home from the hospital last month after spending three weeks in the burn unit, even giving him a fire truck escort.

      If you go to La Plata and ask anyone about Jerry Thomas, there's one word you're likely to hear over and over again.

      "He's a giver. Give, give give," said Stan East Jr., co-chaplain of the La Plata Community Fire Protection District.

      "Jerry is the person who has give to everybody in the community," said Stan "Rabbi" East.

      Thomas has not only volunteered with the fire department for more than four decades, he's volunteered with the ambulance service, he's served as mayor and he's been on the city council. All that, and he's never lost his personal touch.

      "He's one heck of a good friend. Really, he's more like a brother to me," said Fire Chief Bob Couch.

      Thomas isn't used to being on the receiving end, so the co-chaplain of the fire department said he had to give Thomas a friendly lecture after he was injured in the fire.

      "I said, 'You've been a giver all your life. Now, there are people who perceive you have a need (whether he agrees with it or not) there are people who perceive that, and you need to let them give and let them feel good just like you have for all these years,'" said Stan East Jr.

      East said Thomas agreed with him on that and gave his ok for Saturday's fundraiser.

      Click HERE to see interviews with five people who know Jerry Thomas and his family well and see what nice things they had to say.

      The Jerry Thomas Family Fundraiser will be held in the La Plata City Park.

      Here is Saturday??s schedule:

      7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Biscuits and Gravy

      8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Mile Walk

      9 a.m. ?? Bake sale (Donations accepted)

      9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dunk Tank

      9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bounce House

      10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Food Stand in Park

      10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Cake Walk

      10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Legion Building- Silent Auction, Raffle Sale, T-shirt Sales

      1 p.m. until it??s gone ?? Homemade Ice Cream

      1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Three-on-three Basketball

      3:55 p.m. Drawing for Rifle and Shotgun

      4 p.m. Live Auction

      5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Steak Sandwiches or Plates

      8 p.m. Music Show

      If you would like more information or want to help out, contact Stan East Junior at

      (660) 341-3686.