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The Michigan Firehouse Museum hosts Firemen’s Ball to celebrate 25th anniversary

The Michigan Firehouse Museum and Education Center celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a Firemen’s Ball on Saturday, Nov. 11 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the museum.

The museum welcomed the attendees to drink and dine with them with live music from the Detroit Big Band Express Orchestra. Throughout the evening, attendees could bid in a silent auction to win prizes as well as enter into a 50/50 raffle. All proceeds went to the museum and its operations. 

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Attendees of the Fireman's Ball participate in the museum's silent auction on November 11. The winners of the silent auction were announced at 9:30 p.m.

Howard and Norma Weaver founded the premier museum in 1998 and their memory lives on in the museum as their vision of preserving firefighting history continues. The Weavers bought the old Ypsilanti firehouse, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary, and the neighboring building to make up the museum.

“Howard and Norma, thank you very much. This place would not exist without them,” said Dan Egeler, president of the museum's board of directors.

The museum was honored for its 25th anniversary with proclamations from Washtenaw County and the State of Michigan, and a resolution made by U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell.

Annie Somerville, Commissioner for District 6 and Chief of Staff to State Senator Jeff Irwin, presented the proclamations from Washtenaw County and the State of Michigan.

“I’m really glad to be a part of the celebration tonight,” Somerville said. 

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The Michigan Firehouse Museum and Education Center is commemorated on November 11, locally and federally, for their role in preserving Ypsilanti history. Pictured are U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (Left), Commissioner Annie Somerville (Right), and Dave and Dan Egeler, from the museum.

The museum unveiled a new record-breaking exhibit with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in memory of William Dennis Gramer, who passed in January 2023. Gramer, a veteran and father to Dalmatian, Rea-Rea, had a love for Dalmatians and a passion for collecting Dalmatian-related items. His collection is the new exhibit on display at the museum, breaking the current world record for the number of Dalmatian-related items of 1,152 with 1,240. When combined with the museum's collection, the number stands at 1,302. 

“We met with him, we saw the collection, and we said yes,” Egeler said. “He made sure that not only did we get the items, but we also could display them very properly, appropriately, and for a long time. To that, we thank him for his service and for his generosity to the museum.”

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William Dennis Gramer's family looking to his newly unveiled record-breaking exhibit.

To end the evening, the museum thanked all who helped make the Firemen’s Ball possible and attendees for coming, toasted the first 25 years, and looked forward to 25 more. 

For more information about the Michigan Firehouse Museum and Education Center visit their website.