When Jeffrey Wanamaker, a firefighter with the Millburn Fire Department Station 2, decided to create a kitchen table for firefighters to share meals around, he had one challenge he needed to resolve – he had to find some artists to paint his design. His answer was to turn to Todd L. W. Doney, professor of visual arts at County College of Morris (CCM), who he knew from his gym.
Doney listened to Wanamaker’s ideas and suggested that the project might be a good one for the CCM Art Club. Mauricio Caquimb, of Rockaway, an engineering major at CCM and president of the Art Club, gladly took on the project and enlisted the help of several other students. Also assisting with the project were Federico Cárdenas Valencia of Wharton; Brandon Driesse of Lincoln Park; Dianne Guzman Aragon of Randolph; Emily Larosa of Morris Plains; Julianna Pullara of Budd Lake; and Luke Weaver of Morris Plains.
“What was special about this project is that it involved a lot of lettering, and lettering is the hardest thing to do because you have to make sure everything is straight,” says Doney. “The students who worked on the project did a fantastic job. What was extra special was that they came to campus on their own time during the summer to work on the table. I am really proud of them. They did an outstanding job.”
Caquimbo says, “We took the time out of the summer because we didn’t want to leave the fire department empty handed. Just the thought of these firefighters gathering around this table after a long day’s work and appreciating it is a very satisfying feeling to me and my club members.”
The tabletop features the wording “Millburn Fire Station 2, ‘The house in the hills.’” Today, it now sits in the fire station’s kitchen on a blue fire hydrant base.
“It adds to our station pride,” says Wanamaker. “When we’re on duty, we live together, cook together and share meals together. It’s nice to be able to eat at a table now that reflects our pride.”