Many gather together to raise funds for first responder scholarship

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – Firefighters came together for a good cause in memory of late Fire Chief Ivan LaGrand.

The Ivan LaGrand Memorial Scholarship fundraiser and concert was held on Sunday at Scout Hall in Cape Girardeau to raise money for local citizens and youth who would like to pursue a career as a first responder but can’t afford school or classes. Food trucks, fire trucks, and a concert were present at the event.

“So today we’re doing a fundraiser for Ivan LaGrand who we lost in the line of duty last year,” said Jeremy Freeman, a Cape Girardeau firefighter. “Ivan was a big advocate for first responders. He was in law enforcement and in EMS. He was a firefighter. He was with Cape Girardeau Fire Department for 25 years. So, what we’re going to do here is kind of try to keep his name alive and all the money we raise here is going to go to scholarships for police, fire and EMS for the underfunded people that might want to get into the first responders but can’t afford to have the money or funds to get into classes.”

The community was devastated by the passing of the fire chief. As he had served his community for over 25 years. The Cape Girardeau Fire Department knew that using his passing to give back to the community would’ve been exactly what Chief LaGrand would’ve wanted.

“Ivan was a quiet individual, but he enjoyed serving the public. He enjoyed educating individuals who wanted to be in public safety whether it was through EMS training, fire training and even through law enforcement. He dedicated his whole adult life to the public safety career field and servicing the citizens of southeast Missouri,” said Fire Captain Andrew Juden.

Ivan LaGrand contracted COVID-19 while on duty last year and passed. He is greatly missed by the community.

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