The Women's Auxiliary of the Ralston Engine Company was formed in 1947 at the time that the "first Ralston firehouse was dedicated" on Rte 24 in the Western part of Mendham Township.
The old firehouse was built through the years 1947 and 1948 with funds from the Township government and $9,000 in contributions. The women of the Auxiliary were active contributors in time and fund raising for the goal of providing fire protection service to the area west of Mendham Borough. They started their community awareness program with the first Children's Christmas party to be held at the firehouse in 1947. This has been followed in recent years by an annual Halloween costume party, held at the present firehouse.
The Women's Auxiliary, through their contributions provided by fund raising activities, maintains an active role in the community. Through bazaars, flea markets, door to door solicitations, book wrapping at Christmas at the local bookstore, they have been able to provide funds for the old and new firehouses, equipment for the firemen, such as two way radios and furnishings for the "new" firehouse, which was dedicated in 1974. A corner of the property on which the new station sits was purchased with funds raised by the Women's Auxiliary. The Auxiliary also provides an annual scholarship for a graduating student of Mendham High School who plans to attend college. The scholarship is named in honor of the late member Marge Davidson. Marge was a devoted member of the Auxiliary, a conservationist and active citizen in public affairs. Marge, with her late husband, Chris, lived on Roxiticus Road.
Charter members of the Ralston Women's Auxiliary all lived within earshot of the siren which is atop the firehouse. They were all spouses of active firemen at the time. They were Jean Andrews, Hilda Fischer, Jane Karkalits, Alma Nesbitt, Mary Schaller, Julia Snedaker, Mabel Swan and Claudia West.
Many active members today are neighbors or owners of the original homes occupied by these families. Our mission is the same, to assist the firefighters who defend our homes from fire disasters.
The Women's Auxiliary welcomes new members.
By Connie Vanacore