May 15, 2023

Purdue University Fire Department recognizes local business for supporting annual Shop with a Firefighter event for more than a decade

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. ­­­– The Purdue University Fire Department (PUFD) presented Jerry O’Bryan, owner of Nine Irish Brothers, with a personalized helmet May 4 for his support of the Shop with a Firefighter event throughout the years.

In 2010, O’Bryan worked with a friend, who was assistant chief at the time, to set up fundraising efforts at his restaurant to help kick off the inaugural shopping event.

“The fundraising event we hold at our restaurant in West Lafayette continues to be successful year after year,” O’Bryan said. “We set up signs so our customers know and understand the cause. It always occurs around the holidays, so people really tend to celebrate the spirit of giving.”

Each year, the fire department partners with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Lafayette for the shopping event. The department also partners with the Purdue softball team for help with shopping. Eligible children and their families join a firefighter and a player to shop at Meijer in West Lafayette and select clothes, toys and other items they may need or want but cannot otherwise afford.

“We are fortunate enough to help around 25-30 children each year,” said Adam Bordner, firefighter and paramedic. “That’s largely in part due to Jerry’s generosity and his willingness to support this program. It’s definitely become a tradition within the department, and we plan to continue it for the foreseeable future.”

The Nine Irish Brothers fundraiser usually takes place in November, with the shopping event in December.

PUFD is part of the Administrative Operations organization. Administrative Operations supports the university through safe, reliable and transformative services. Giving back to the local community with the annual Shop with a Firefighter event is just one way the organization continues to power Purdue.

Media contact: Jim Bush, 

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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