Firefighters Craig Wagner, Nick Solakian, John Kinworthy and Reid Weeks cook burgers and hot dogs during the Aug. 26 sixth-grade orientation day at RLS Middle School.

Dozens of new sixth-graders gathered for orientation day at Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School on Aug. 26. Local firefighters were there to help.

Every August, just before the start of school, RLS hosts the orientation and barbecue lunch for new sixth-grade students and their families. In the morning, a team of specially trained eighth-graders leads the new students through a series of team-building activities, campus tours, and informational meetings. Incoming sixth-graders are given the opportunity to get acquainted with their new school and meet some of the teachers and staff.

But the highlight of the day is the barbecue lunch, prepared by a team of local firefighters. This year, four firefighters labored over the hot coals of the extra-large grill they brought to the campus: Craig Wagner, Nick Solakian, John Kinworthy, and Reid Weeks. These gracious men cooked burgers and hot dogs for two hours, serving a crowd of more than 250 people.

RLS principal Karin Cox commented, “Huge thanks to Craig Wagner and the always awesome St. Helena Fire Department! Once again, they stepped up to support our school by BBQing in the hot sun for our new sixth-grade students and their families. We couldn’t do it without our wonderful firefighters!“

The sixth-grade students at RLS would like to thank these firefighters, who spent all morning serving our community in a unique way. Here are some student comments from the sixth-grade Journalism class:

“Thank you for everything you do. You save us from fires and still took the time to make food. We are so grateful!” — Alexa Barragan

“First off, thank you for risking your life. I really appreciate it. And then you come and cook a BBQ! The food was amazing. Thank you again.” — Nick Groth

“We are so thankful that the firefighters took off their own time from work to cook delicious food for the 6th graders! I am so glad that they wanted to cook for us. Nothing could describe how thankful we are.” — Alice Baxter

“We are so grateful that you decided to take the time off work to cook us delicious hot dogs and hamburgers. You keep our community safe and the 6th graders full with plenty of great food!” — Olive Filippini

“Thank you, firefighters! You made the hot summer day even better by standing in the sun for over an hour cooking burgers. We are so grateful that you spent your time and energy to make us such yummy food.” — Harper Demchuck

“Thank you, firefighters. You do so many things for the community. You risk your lives to keep us safe, you do nice stuff all around town, and you came to our BBQ to cook for the 6th graders. Words don’t explain how much we thank you!” — Lucy Hoffmeister

“Thank you, firefighters, for all your time and for taking time off work to save people. We are really grateful. Thank you.” — Noe Heredia

‘Thank you, firefighters, for making the burgers and hot dogs. They were super good. Also, thank you for taking time from your job to come make the food. We thank you for everything.” — Eric Torres

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“Thank you, firefighters, for putting time into the community and making a delicious meal and keeping us safe.” —Matthew Larrabee

“Thank you, dear firefighters, for doing the food and the water and the hot dogs and the meat. And thank you for grilling in the hot sun.” — Gabriel Colin Gonzalez

“Thank you, firefighters, for all your time and effort that you spent cooking a marvelous lunch for all the 6th graders. It made us feel like the school is supported by many people who care for us and your effort was amazing. You stood by a grill in over 100 degree heat for an hour and 30 minutes. Thanks a lot!” — Matilda Petty

“I appreciate you guys taking time off of a work day and making a BBQ for us. Thank you so much for risking your life when needed. Words can’t describe how grateful we are to have you guys as our firemen. Thank you!” — Marisol Navarro

“Thank you, firefighters, for being in the hot sun and taking your time and preparing the hamburgers for our orientation.” — Daniela Ortiz

“Thank you, firefighters, for everything. It must have been so hot out there! Thanks again for cooking for us. The food was so good! I loved the hamburgers. I also thank you guys again for cooking the food!” — Marisol Robledo

“Dear firefighters — Thank you for fighting fires for us and keeping our town safe.” — Larsen Moura

“Dear firefighters — Thank you for the service and risking your lives.” — Alexis Garcia

“Thank you for everything that you do for us: saving lives and using your time.” — Charlie Blaum

“Thank you, firefighters, for helping us by making burgers when we came to RLS.” — Erick Hernandez Jimenez

“Thank you for risking your life and keeping St.Helena safe and for donating all your time for us. And after that you still made us the BBQ! I just wanted to say thank you for doing this all for St. Helena.” — Angel Rojas

“Thank you so much, firefighters, for the food you made us and for taking your time for being here.” — Sophia Silva

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