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Two MVES students took a Farmington fire truck home from school last week

Meadowview Elementary School third graders Madison Rausch and Lydia Akolly posed with a few of Farmington's firefighters before getting onto a fire engine for their ride home from school. Rausch won the special ride through the food drive held by FFD during Fire Prevention Week.

Halloween is pretty fun for most kids, but Meadowview Elementary School students Madison Rausch and Lydia Akolly probably had just a little more fun this year. After all, they got to ride around Farmington in a fire truck.

Rausch now enters the Farmington Fire Department's history books as the first winner of FFD's new food drive contest.

The contest was held during the Oct. 11 FFD open house, held during Fire Prevention Week. This year, fire lieutenant Jeff Allbee said, the department decided to help the Farmington Food Shelf by hosting a food drive during the open house. It was open to all students in the Farmington schools.

The idea was that each student who brought in a donation would get to enter his or her name into a drawing. Students got one entry for each food item they brought in.

Well, it turns out Rausch, a third grade student from MVES, was the one whose name was pulled in the drawing. As a winner, she received a ride around Farmington in a fire truck. She was invited to bring along a friend, too.

So there they were, after school on Halloween - Allbee and firefighters Dan Moulin and Dan Strumberger - waiting outside in turnout gear, with a fire engine ready and waiting right in front of the building. When the girls exited the school, they were met by the firefighters. Pictures were taken and all five boarded the engine.

Siren blaring and lights flashing, the truck left Meadowview for a short tour around Farmington. The first stop was at Dairy Queen, where they all had treats. From there, the girls got to ride around town for a while.

"It was a blast," Allbee said. "They got to wave at cars as we went past and they loved it."

Allbee wasn't sure how many students brought food shelf donations, but he said the fire department had enough to fill 10 grocery bags in one night.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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