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Breakfast at the fire station draws a crowd

Members of the Hudson Fire Department join Smokey Bear for a photograph during the pancake breakfast Sunday morning. From left are Lt. Tom Barthman, Assistant Chief Jeff Dabruzzi, Tom Zeuli, Smokey, Lt. Aaron Zeuli and Chief Jim Frye. The father-and-son team of Tom and Aaron Zeuli were co-chairs of the breakfast.

Between 800 and 900 people attended the pancake breakfast fundraiser at the Hudson Fire Hall Sunday morning in spite of the freezing rain and bitter wind.

"It wasn't as many as last year, but I thought it was a good turnout" considering the weather, said firefighter Tom Zeuli, co-chair of the annual event.

It was plenty warm inside. Many people lingered at the tables set up in the fire engine bays to talk with old and new friends over a cup of coffee. The children had fun climbing into the cab of Engine No. 3163, left inside for them to see.

"It reminds us why we live here," Brian Elwood said of the breakfast, speaking also for his wife, Katie.

Zeuli said the health and wellness theme to this year's breakfast was well-received. "The bananas and yogurt were really popular," he said.

The Hudson Lions Club assisted firefighters and their spouses in putting on the breakfast.

Many local businesses contributed food products or money for the event.

Close to $7,000 in free-will donations was collected from the breakfast-goers. The prize drawings brought in another $500.

At least part of the revenue from this year's breakfast will go to a wellness program for firefighters.

Cheryl Such of Hudson won the raffle drawing for the Trek 820 bicycle from Art Doyle's Spokes & Pedals.

Charles Huntley of Hudson was the winner of the Rick Kelley print "Reflections of Hudson."