Baked potato fundraiser to benefit Shelburne firefighter 

By MARY BYRNE

Staff Writer

Published: 05-16-2023 11:47 AM

GREENFIELD — First responders and members of the community are coming together Thursday afternoon to raise money for a longtime resident, first responder and town official of Franklin County.

“Baked Potatoes & Baskets for Bob” will benefit Bob Manners of Shelburne, who was diagnosed with and is preparing to undergo treatment for lymphoma, according to Greenfield resident Emily Ethier, 29, a fellow EMT and lifelong family friend of Manners. 

The fundraiser will take place in the main conference room of Baystate Franklin Medical Center from 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursday. Baked potatoes will be made to order for $6 each, and raffled tickets will be sold for a handful of donated baskets. Every dollar raised will benefit Manners’ family while he’s out of work and seeking medical treatment. 

“A supervisor in Springfield [AMR] — “Bee” Bates — loves to cook and feed all of the crew. One of her go-to fundraisers is a baked potato fundraiser,” she said. “She’s done this before for things down there on a much smaller scale, so this is actually one of the biggest ones she’s done.”

About 200 potatoes, all of which were donated by SWAZ Potato Farms in Hatfield, will be donated and baked in advance, Ethier said. AMR of Springfield is donating a basket for the raffle, as are the Greenfield Police Association, the Greenfield Fire Association, and a group of local nurses. 

Manners serves on the Shelburne Selectboard and is the deputy fire chief for Shelburne Fire Department and a supervisor at AMR of Greenfield; he’s also served as a part-time police officer in Charlemont and runs the Franklin County EMS, which helps keep first responders up-to-date on their certifications. 

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For Ethier, 29, the connection to Manners extends beyond her professional life. She’s known the Shelburne resident for her entire life. 

“My dad and my uncle started the ambulance company here in Greenfield, Mercy Ambulance … and Bob was one of the first employees that came on board,” she said, referring to what is now MedCare Emergency Health Ambulance. “Bob has been the institutional knowledge in our community and in this space.

“He’s trained a majority of the workforce in EMS in and around the area,” Ethier said. “And he’s most likely saved you, someone in your daily life or someone you care about over the last few decades. He has done so many community events and so many things for the community that it is absolutely time we give back to him.”

For those who can’t make it to the event, donations can be sent to @Bob_Manners_Fundraiser on Venmo. 

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne.

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