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DPAO members & firefighters all have fun on Monsignor McCarthy night

Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 7:32 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - It’s a day that some have circled on the calendar.

“It’s something I look forward to every year,” Watertown Fire Captain Richard Little said. “It’s something I’m going to do every year that I can until I retire.”

He’s talking about DPAO night at the Jefferson County Fair. That’s when city of Watertown firefighters buddy up with people from the Disabled Persons Action Organization and enjoy the rides, from the carousel to the scrambler.

It’s a tradition that Father Mac -- that’s Monsignor Robert McCarthy -- started years ago.

“This is now my 11th year doing it,” firefighter Matt Carpenter said. “You know, it’s a great time, we get to take the kids out, this is their only way they can go on these rides, is with us.”

And they enjoy every second of it. DPAO member Vicky Giles has a favorite ride: “The Tilt-a-Whirl! Because it’s fun.”

And she didn’t get dizzy, either. She says this is something she looks forward to every year. “Lot of fun. Get out of the house, too.”

“It’s something they all look forward to every single year and they’ve been asking about it, so I’m glad that it finally happened,” short-term respite coordinator Kristina Miller said.

Monsignor McCarthy Night at the Jefferson County Fair is something both DPAO members and...
Monsignor McCarthy Night at the Jefferson County Fair is something both DPAO members and Watertown firefighters look forward to.(WWNY)

As much as the DPAO individuals enjoy it, the firefighters say they love it just as much.

“It’s one of the greatest parts of the job, to be honest,” Little said. “When we’re with these individuals, the smiles that they have on their faces, it pays back to us greater than we can give to them.”

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