Atlanta Fire Rescue Station 21 on Roswell Road has finally reaped the rewards from a pancake breakfast held in the fall of 2007 to raise community funds to improve the living conditions for the firefighters assigned to the station.

That program, which was sponsored by the Buckhead Alliance, raised enough money for the station to get a couple of new flat-screen TVs and have some money left over. But there wasn’t enough left to get much in the way of new furniture for the station.

Kendall Craig, who organized the initial fundraiser as executive director of the Buckhead Alliance, said, “There was some money left over from the original fundraiser to go toward furniture, so they contacted us to ask what they could get for the $1,100 through Aaron’s Inc.,” the Buckhead-based furniture leasing and sales company led by Robin Loudermilk, the president of the Buckhead Alliance.

“Robin Loudermilk, Aaron’s and the Buckhead Alliance generously went a little bit above and beyond,” Craig said. They turned the $1,100 remaining in the firefighters’ account into more than $11,000 worth of furniture.

“This was our chance to give them what they needed for the $1,100,” said Brenda Jones, personal assistant to Loudermilk at Aaron’s, who was at the fire station when the Aaron’s delivery truck arrived June 4 filled with new furniture.

“I’m excited about it,” Jones said. “It is pretty cool that we were able to get it done in the short time that we had.”

She said the project began in March, but that was just arranging for the delivery of $11,000-plus of furniture for the $1,100 payment by the Atlanta Fire Foundation. The project actually began with pancakes that morning in November 2007.

There was just a little glitch that held up the delivery. It seems the money raised that day ended up downtown in a general fund rather than allocated to Station 21. It took the perseverance of Craig and others, the muscle of City Councilman Howard Shook, and the establishment of the Atlanta Fire Foundation to get the money where it was supposed to be, the furnishings delivered and the firefighters’ living quarters at Station 21 a bit more livable.

— John Schaffner