Thomson firefighter Billy Graham was looking forward to church for a couple of extra reasons on Sunday.
After all, Second Baptist Church of Thomson would celebrate homecoming. That always brings a crowd, Graham said. Plus, Thomson Fire Chief Rick Sewell would be on hand to present a check for Graham’s expected kidney transplant.
The fire department and the church joined efforts on Feb. 24 to put on a steak dinner at the main fire station on Main Street. Tickets sold for $15 each, and firefighters and volunteers sold as many as the department could accommodate. Ticket sales were cut off at 735.
Guests enjoyed a ribeye steak, baked potato, salad, roll and dessert.
As of Thursday, Graham was still waiting for confirmation of the next step in the kidney transplant process.
Graham was diagnosed with kidney disease in 1991. He undergoes four hours of dialysis three days a week.
Graham has been on the donor list to receive a new kidney for about three years.
Graham’s daughter, Angie Newsome, who cooks at the First United Methodist Church preschool, said her father has been a firefighter for 40 years. She said his brother Johnny, who died about 15 years ago, also was a firefighter.
“I thought the dinner went very well,” Newsome said. She also looked forward to a big turnout Sunday at Second Baptist Church, which holds homecoming the first Sunday of each March.
She said more fundraisers are planned to help meet the $10,000 goal. She and friends are working on a spaghetti dinner and a rummage sale. She said details will be announced.