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Firefighters collect tips for free tutoring
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Manteca firefighter Brad Schemper is shown with his son Noah, 8, and daughter Olivia, 6, with the 1955 fire chief’s vehicle parked in front of the entrance to Applebee’s. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

The Manteca Firefighters Association’s Tip-a-Firefighter event Tuesday at Applebee’s restaurant on East Yosemite Avenue collected more than $2,000 in tips dropped into a fireman’s boot for the Give Every Child A Chance tutoring program. 

Fire inspector Art Salas stood by the front door all evening noting that people had been “very generous.” All of the firefighters helping serve were all working on their own time. 

The event began at 5 p.m. with people waiting in the lobby to be seated as firefighters drove their 100-foot ladder truck to the front of the restaurant, parking it outside Applebee’s façade followed by a 1955 chief’s car with a red light mounted on the fender.

Steve Cosentino, who retired 14 years ago, was one of the former members of the department having dinner.  He appeared thrilled to meet with Captain Franco Torrice serve him dinner.

Retired Battalion Chief Steve May and his wife Linda were also on hand as was engineer Steve Burrows and retired fire Captain David Breitenbucher.

Firefighter Brad Schemper remembered last year’s Tip-A-Firefighter night saying a forest fire strike crew was actually dispatched from the dinner event before it was over.

The regular restaurant serving staff and the green hand firefighter waiters did a professional job in the kitchen and in the dining, room staying out of each other’s way in getting the orders of food and drinks to the right tables, all flashing smiles as they maneuvered around the restaurant.  

Retired longtime executive of Give Every Child a Chance, Carol Davis, enjoyed her dinner at a table with her son Scott.  Across from her were Mayor Steve DeBrum and his wife Veronica.  Also, on hand were Councilman Rich Silverman and his wife Linda, all sitting at separate tables. 

To contact Glenn Kahl, email