Season’s Greetings from Dennis

As I reflect back over this past year, it seems like only yesterday that we were sharing in celebrations as the New Year arrived… and in the blink of an eye, it’s hard to believe we are quickly approaching the end of 2019!

The Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation (GFBF) was fortunate to experience another amazing year, in no small part, because of our outstanding cadre of volunteers, fire service partners, beneficial collaborations and generous donors all playing an important role in our accomplishments!

Because of your support, we were able to bring together 95 children for a week long residential camping program, providing “fun with a purpose” for children/siblings who’ve experienced burn injury & trauma; hosted a Burn Survivor Family Weekend providing an opportunity for 16 families to come together to support one another, connect through shared similar experiences and grow towards transformation and healing; collaborated with other agencies from California and New York to facilitate the Young Adult Burn Survivor Retreat bringing together more than 3 dozen young people to develop and strengthen peer support network; collaborations with Grady Hospital Burn Center, WellStar & JM Still Burn Center in providing ancillary support for aftercare programming; $65,000 in funding was distributed through the Give Burns the Boot incentive program & the Chesney Fallen Firefighters Memorial Grant to support fire departments’ safety education and prevention initiatives within their local communities.

As a burn survivor myself, I can personally attest to the fact that these invaluable resources continue to touch the lives of not only residents of Georgia, but also populations throughout the southeast. But there is still much work to be done, as we anticipation an even greater need to grow our base of support to increase the numbers served in the upcoming year.

My hope is that you please consider GFBF in your year-end giving plans. Donations, both large and small are deeply appreciated. You can make a secured online donation at Please note: The Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and your financial gift is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Please stand with us in our efforts to provide help, hope, and healing beyond the burn!

Unfortunately, the devastating effects of fire has touched countless lives over the years, and it is also understood that fire occurrences will continue to cause property loss, trauma, injury and death; in addition to the emotional and psychological toll on individuals and families. In response to this sad reality, GFBF remains committed to reaching more people and having an even greater impact in the years to come, so no one ever feels alone on their journey of recovery. And we are excited to share the upcoming launch of an e-newsletter to keep our community informed, up to date and share inspirational stories, be sure to sign up by clicking here

On behalf of the Board of Directors, Staff and those we serve, thank you for your support in helping us successfully fulfill the mission of GFBF to partner with the fire service and burn care community to provide fire safety and prevention education, support medical facilities and assist burn survivors in their recovery.

Wishing you and your family all the best this holiday season, as excitement builds for connection in 2020!


Dennis J. Gardin, Executive Director

Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation

Hole in One with Baldwin County Fire Rescue

Baldwin County Fire Rescue has participated in the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation’s Give Burns The Boot® campaign for over 10 years.  As a creative way to partner with GFBF, Baldwin County hosts annual tournament benefiting the GFBF with over $50,000 of donations over the past eight years!  Baldwin County’s new fire chief, Chief Victor Young says “One of the main reasons our tournament was started, was to assist the GFBF in their work with children at Camp Oo-U-La.  Some of our firefighters were privileged enough to visit Camp Oo-U-La and see how our donations have impacted children in their recovery.  We also wanted to assist the foundation with providing fire safety and prevention education, and supporting medical facilities for burn survivors”.

Each year Baldwin County Fire has around 100 players to turn out on the day of the tournament, and most of them play each year and always look forward to the next. They contribute the success of their tournament to the generosity of their local businesses and the tireless efforts of their tournament committee who spends numerous hours pounding the streets visiting businesses and making calls searching for the perfect prizes to draw in their golfers. “We look forward to a continued partnership with GFBF in all their future endeavors”, says Chief Young.

The GFBF is fortunate to have the support of so many wonderful fire departments across the state of Georgia.  It’s their partnership with the fire service that GFBF has served countless families and individuals for almost 40 years.

Fire departments interested in finding out how you can participate in the Give Burns The Boot® campaign or other fundraising events please contact Venessa Walker at or (404) 320-6223.


A “club” we never signed up for

Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation’s Family Weekend 2019 is one our family will never forget. We stumbled upon this organization out of sheer desperation. We were mourning the family we were before Memorial Day 2019. Our son’s accident changed him both physically and mentally. As his physical wounds began to heal, the emotional scars began to emerge. I cried out for prayers. Shortly afterwards, we were given the link to GFBF. I immediately went to the site for help. I noticed an upcoming camp and quickly registered.

With great anticipation we ventured to Camp Twin Lakes. From the moment we arrived, we were greeted with warm smiles and many helping hands. We were finally able to take a breath and let the knowledgeable staff help us through this tough journey. We found families that had endured many years as burn survivors. That gave us hope that we would make it through. Our son was able to meet, talk, and play with other survivors his age with similar stories. The parent’s meeting was such a wonderful time to fellowship with the other attendees. We were even rewarded with an amazing candle making “date”, just Mom and Dad.

We are all a part of a “club” we never signed up for. The others knew what we were going through. They were able to encourage us. We met as strangers and left as family. We did not want the weekend to end. Our family looks forward to our next meeting. Many thanks to McKenzy and Dennis. Thank you for everything GFBF!

-Dana McClure