F.O.O.L.S. Convention…

The F.O.O.L.S. are seen during their bagpipe parade along the boardwalk in Seaside Heights.

Last year Chicago, this year, Seaside Heights. The Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society (F.O.O.L.S.), who are a national group of firefighters, had their 2007 convention at the Hershey Motel in Seaside Heights from Thursday June 21st until Sunday June 24th. Instrumental in bringing the F.O.O.L.S. to Seaside Heights was Bill Hopson, who is a deputy fire marshal for Ocean County and Seaside Heights boardwalk business owner. Greeting the F.O.O.L.S. was Chief James Samarelli of Station 44, The Seaside Heights Volunteer Fire Department, as the SHFD acted as host to the visiting brotherhood. The F.O.O.L.S. had quite a busy agenda. Thursday evening began with a pool party inside the compound of Hershey’s, followed by a visit to Spicy’s and the Beachcomber later. Friday began with a beach trip for most of the F.O.O.L.S. wives and families. At the same time, groups of F.O.O.L.S. competed in a Seaside Heights version of the Amazing Race, where they went on a scavenger hunt at local establishments. After Saturday’s convention activities, the F.O.O.L.S. members joined in for a bagpipe parade along the boardwalk that ran from Grant Avenue to the Franklin Avenue stage. Thousands looked on as the F.O.O.L.S. paraded down the promenade, and then stopped for a brief ceremony, had to remember fallen brothers, specifically the nine lost just a few days prior during a fire in Charleston, South Carolina, and those lost during 9/11.

Bill Hopson(left) is seen with Station 44 Chief James Samarelli.


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