In 1897, New York firemen delivered a hose-carriage to Columbia when a Civil War-era fire destroyed its fire station. The Columbia Fire Department made a promise (the Palmetto Promise) that one day they would return the favor. After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, teachers and students from White Knoll Middle School decided to return the favor to New York by establishing a goal and setting out to accomplish that goal, raising money to purchase a new fire engine: a bold venture considering the $350,000 in funds was needed for a custom pumper. The community became involved and helped to make the dream of White Knoll Middle School become a reality. The foundation helped the school by coordinating all funds for this project, which in the end totaled more than $540,000, well over their original goal.
The world took note of this project, and students were invited to New York to ride on a fire truck in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, appear on NBC’s Today show and present the check to a grateful Mayor Giuliani. These students gave a gift to New York, but they also gave a gift to all of us. The Foundation is proud of our students.
Even today, a close relationship is still maintained between the fireman at Red Hook Fire Station in Brooklyn, NY and the students of Lexington County School District One.