a group of men standing next to each other in front of a grill
From left, Mark DiRusso, fire inspector; Fire Chief Terry Abel; and Jason Lyman, assistant fire chief.

Local firefighters responded to a fired-up grill and some hungry locals and visitors during the annual Givin’ It Back barbecue at Founders Park beach on April 6. Organized by the Islamorada Firefighters Benevolent Association, attendees enjoyed pulled pork, hamburgers, baked beans and coleslaw on a picturesque Saturday overlooking a calm Florida Bay. In a show of thanks to the community by fire rescue, the delicious meal came at no cost to Islamorada residents. Non-residents paid $15 for the meal. The Fuzzy Buddha, DJ Wood Campbell, played tunes throughout the afternoon. 

Photos by JIM McCARTHY/Keys Weekly

DJ Wood Campbell, AKA the Fuzzy Buddha, left, and Larry Zettwoch, volunteer fireman/paramedic.
Councilman Mark Gregg and Deb Gillis, former village mayor, enjoy a barbecue organized by Islamorada firefighters.
Corie McGraw-Abel and Shannon Oboy dish out cold adult beverages at the Founders Park beach pavilion during the Givin’ It Back barbecue.
Jim McCarthy
Jim McCarthy is one of the many Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 4-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, hockey, mixed martial arts and golf. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.