Ivor, Hunterdale Fire Depts. raise funds for volunteer’s medical expenses

Published 8:54 am Monday, October 3, 2016


As a professional medic and firefighter with Newport News Shipbuilding, Jeff Holt is well aware of how precarious life can be, but he never expected to be fighting for his life at age 32. Despite living with a diagnosis of PSC, a form of liver disease, for most of his life, he didn’t let it stop him from pursuing his family’s tradition of firefighting.

That all changed when his condition suddenly took a turn for the worse, necessitating several surgeries at Duke University and using up all his available sick and personal days. He now needs a liver transplant and is not getting paid for his time away from work. That was when the Ivor Volunteer Fire Department stepped in to rescue one of its own. Holt has been a volunteer firefighter all his adult life, first with the Franklin Fire Department and later with Ivor, and his family has deep ties to the fire stations in the area. His father, Vince Holt, is the Fire Chief of Franklin, and his wife’s grandfather was a charter member of the Ivor Department.

The Ivor Fire Department holds community fundraisers every year to support themselves and various other causes. So when they learned about Holt’s condition, several members suggested donating the proceeds from this year’s fundraiser towards his medical expenses.

“He’s a very personable person — all the time willing to help other people,” said Fire Chief Carl Garner of the Ivor Volunteer Fire Department. “And people are more than willing to give back to him.”

According to Garner, the Ivor station has already received several donations.

The next fundraiser the Ivor Department will hold is their annual fried chicken and barbecue dinner, catered by Leon Nixon Catering, on Saturday, Oct. 8, 5-7 p.m. at the Ivor fire station. The requested donation is $9 with all proceeds going to the Jeff Holt Medical Fund. Tickets may be purchased at The Hair Salon LLC, the Ivor Furniture Company, or from any fire department member.

The fire station in Hunterdale is also fundraising to assist Holt, having pre-sold 2,000 pounds of sausage so far.

The Hampton Division of Fire and Rescue, where Holt worked for nine years prior to his career at the shipyard, is also holding a fundraiser to assist with Holt’s medical expenses. They will hold a golf tournament at the Cypress Cove Country Club in Franklin on Sunday, Oct. 16, at 1 p.m.

The cost to participate is $80 per person or $300 per team. The golf course is located at 30333 Country Club Road, Franklin. More information on the tournament can be obtained by calling Jen Rastatter at 342-1704 or emailing jcrastatter@hotmail.com.

Holt lives in Ivor with his wife, Kay, and his two children, Peyton, age seven, and Jake, age three.