Scranton, Lackawanna County - The wife of a former Scranton firefighter, who was killed while on duty, is planning a weekend fundraiser to honor his memory.
This weekend will mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Scranton fire captain James Robeson.
Family, friends and Robeson's firefighting brothers have been working on the event for weeks. They say it will have a special purpose.
All of the money raised will be used to buy an off-road vehicle which will be turned into an ambulance to help earthquake victims in Haiti.
"Honestly it's hard to believe that it's been five years and I wanted to do something in his honor," wife Linda Robeson said.
Many of the city's bravest worked with Robeson for years. They still call him brother.
"Not a day goes by that I don't think about Jimmy and with the five year anniversary coming up, it's kinda bittersweet," firefighter John Hewitt said. "It's a hard time to handle."
Robeson was electrocuted on January 6, 2008 while battling a house fire on Ash Street. The bucket lift he was in came in contact with a live power line.
This Sunday's event is being planned as a casual fundraiser.
The ambulance they plan to purchase will be done in coordination with the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti.
"I think we're kinda looking at it as something to celebrate Captain Robeson's life and preserve his memory going further, not just locally but now globally," firefighter Bob Cochrane said.
Robeson's son even designed a special shirt which is now being sold.
"We're just trying to make people remember his name and what he stood for and what our family stands for," Ryan Robeson said.
Robeson's wife Linda took a trip to Haiti last year and saw the need. She says buying an ambulance is a fitting way to honor a man who gave his life trying to save others.
"They don't have any way to get to the hospital," Linda Robeson said. "Mothers are just carrying their children miles to get checked-up."
The event will be held Sunday, January 6 from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM at St. Mary's Center in Scranton. The cost is $20.00. That covers beer, wine, soda and food. Organizers say there will music and basket raffles.
Tickets may also be purchased at the door.
T-shirts will be sold at the event for $15. T- shirts can also be purchased before the event by contacting Linda Robeson or Bob Cochrane.
If you are unable to join us, and would like to make a donation, checks can be made payable to:
St. Luke's Foundation for Haiti
c/o Linda Robeson
1404 Oram St.
Scranton, PA 18504