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story.lead_photo.caption Local resident Rick Hawkins, left, stands next to a photo of his late son Corey Hawkins, who served for 10 years with the Liberty-Eylau Fire Department. Fire department personnel held a Labor Day weekend fundraiser for their department and a memorial scholarship named in honor of Corey Hawkins. Photo by Greg Bischof / Texarkana Gazette.

Firefighters with the Liberty-Eylau Fire Department labored and started some fires of their own during the Labor Day weekend. But it was all for a good cause.

Braving the late summer heat, these public servants spent more the seven hours both on Saturday and Sunday cooking dozens of barbecue pork sandwiches, which they served to the public along with soft drinks, as way to raise funds not only to buy equipment and supplies for their department but to also honor one of their own who suffered an untimely passing in 2015.

Apart from their need for equipment and supplies, fire department personnel also raised funds for Corey Hawkins Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The department recently set up the fund in honor of one of their fire fighters—Corey Hawkins who passed away shortly before his 26th birthday four years ago.

Hawkins, who graduated from Liberty Eylau High School, class of 2008, went on to work for the Queen City, Texas, Police Department before going on to work for the Texas A&M University Police Department in Commerce, Texas.

But even before Hawkins finished high school, he joined the LE Fire Department as a 16-year-old volunteer in 2005—serving for nearly 10 years up to the time of his death, his father Rick Hawkins said.

As a fitting way to memorialize his late son, Rick Hawkins said the money raised for the scholarship fund goes to needy students who have or are about to finish public school before heading on to college.

"Last year, we held a fishing tournament and managed to raise $500," Rick Hawkins said.

Barbecue pork sandwich sales on Saturday alone may have raised as much as $600 for both the department and the scholarship fund.

Rick Hawkins said there are plans to conduct another fundraiser next year.

For more information about making contributions for donations, call Hawkins at (903) 293-4440.

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