With budget cutbacks and the current status of the economy, everyone has to pitch in. And three adult communities in Boynton Beach and beyond have done just that.

The Grove, Tivoli Lakes and Palm Isles donated $16,000 last week to Community Assistance & Benefit Corporation, which helps out local fire rescue stations, including Palm Beach County Station No. 47 on Boynton Beach Boulevard.

CAB Corp.started eight years ago in Palm Isles to help buy equipment for Station No. 47 as a way for the community to give back to the station that was saving so many lives in its neighborhood.

Lance Berkowitz of Tivoli Lakes said he was told a $37 million shortfall in the county fire department budget is expected this year. "We purchase products and equipment off wish lists from the stations," he said. "Chainsaws, for example, for the brush fires in the surrounding areas."

LIFESAVER Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue driver operator Jason Cohen shows residents of The Grove, Tivoli Lakes and Palm Isles some of the equipment used in rescue operations. They donated $21,000 raised by community members to the CAB Corp., a non-profit organization that purchases life-saving equipmeht seNic'es and products for PBC Fire-Rescue stations in Battalion #4, at Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue Station #47, in Boynton Beach.   STAFF PHOTO/LINDSAY MOORE

Berkowitz said the corporation also bought tools for getting the firefighters into burning buildings to save trapped residents.

The CAB Corp. group has multiple fundraisers during the year to raise the needed money. "We had a big golf tourney at Indian Spring recently," he said. "It is more important for us to show how our various communities are concerned about the fire department and service from them, so we raise sufficient funds that the county is no longer providing."

Berkowitz said many residents would not be alive without Station No. 47. "Three of our residents have come out publicly and said if not for 47, they would not be living today with heart attacks and shortness of breath," he said.

Out of the $16,000, the largest amount, $6,000, was raised by The Grove, the community directly across from Station No. 47. Berkowitz said two to three calls per day go to The Grove, since they have a high percentage of seniors living there.

Barbara Lewis, The Grove's fundraising coordinator, said fortunately, she hasn't had to call the station yet. "They are in our community all the time, five times a day," she said. "Then, they come back a second later." Lewis said the community raised the money by having a raffle for a 42-inch LG television on April 3. "They are so fabulous," she said of the fire department. "Every time we have a function, whatever food we have left over we take to them."

For information on CAB Corporation, visit http://www.cabcorp.org.

A PDF reprint of the article is available here.