JEFFERSON, Tx. (KTAL/KMSS) – An event is taking over a local community this weekend. It’s put on by firefighters who recognize long after the flames are out damage can sometimes remain.
“I’m right where I’m supposed to be. God put in the path where I’m supposed to be,” said Jim Bruner as he describes his career as a firefighter and EMT.
Bruner wears many hats.
He’s the Service Manager at CHRISTUS Health in Longview as well as the fire chief for the volunteer fire department at Lake O’ the Pines, Texas.
But the hat he’s wearing today carries special meaning.
“I feel blessed and fortunate to be able to be in a position where I can help,” said Bruner.
He’s the president of the Longview, Texas chapter of the Brother’s Keepers Motorcycle Club, an organization comprised solely of firefighters dedicated to helping kids.
“I joined this organization because of what they do to help the burn children, the burn survivors for camp I’m Still Me out of Scottsville,” he said. “I was lucky enough to go and visit the burn camp with them and knew I wanted to partner with this organization right away.”
The camp is for kids ages 5 – 17 who have sustained burn injuries. Campers swim, fish, play games, and so much more, all in the presence of counselors who are adult burn survivors themselves.
“They don’t have to worry about people looking at them and staring at them. Staring at their scars or making fun of them,” said Bruner. “They just get to be kids for a change and forget about everything that is outside of that camp for a while.”
This weekend more than 1,500 motorcyclists are expected to descend on Jefferson, Texas for the Brother’s Keepers annual “Burn Run”. Proceeds from the event are being used to send local kids to the summer camp.
“We’ve got people that come from Kentucky. Virginia. Pennsylvania. Just all over,” said Bruner.
Last year’s “Burn Run” helped send 65 kids to the summer camp, and this year with the public’s help, they hope to assist more.
“It kind of gives you that overjoyed feeling. I feel a sense of accomplishment when we’re done,” he said. “Knowing that we provided camp for these kids for another year.”
The “Burn Run” begins Friday and it runs through Sunday.
There will be plenty of motorcycle-related entertainment and live music. Also, a 2023 Harley-Davidson Road Glide will be raffled off. Raffle tickets are just $20.