"He was a hometown man. He loved this community, and this is a grassroots, hometown event," said Bob Carney, co-owner of Carney's Tavern on Ballston Lake in a statement.
"The outpouring of volunteers offering to help with the event has been heartwarming. Danny was a friend to all. He knew how to listen," said Carney, who noted that while Ward worked for them he was also a very dear friend of the family.
Ward's involvement within his community is evident by the variety of individuals involved on the field day's planning committee. Local teachers are planning activities for children, remembering that Ward was "Fireman Dan" to hundreds of students when he visited F.L. Stevens School in full turnout gear for a fire safety program each October.
"When my children were little, it was Fireman Danny who came into their school to talk about [fire safety]," said Joanne DeVoe, a Burnt Hills resident.
Local firemen are putting in extra volunteer time to be sure Ballston Lake Firemen's Grove is ready for the party. Local businesses are stepping up with donations for the scoreboard and raffle prizes, volunteering their time with planning the event and working on the day of the event.
Carney's Tavern, Water's Edge Lighthouse, and Mail 'n More are serving as outlets for the steak dinner tickets and providing numerous in-kind services. Millstone Manor will sponsor a softball tournament at Indian Meadows on Sunday, Sept. 27.
Funds from the party will go toward the purchase of the new scoreboard. The cost is $16,200 and approximately $3,000 more is needed. The new scoreboard will carry the message "In Memory of Danny G. Ward." A dedication is planned at the BH-BL Homecoming Game on Saturday, Oct. 10.
The field day celebration is free and open to the community. ""