Walnut Hill VFD Honors Firefighters, NWE Coach Greg Gibson During Record Breaking Fish Fry

November 14, 2021

The Walnut Hill Volunteer Fire Department honored a late community member, a retiring officer and a firefighter during a record-breaking fish fry Saturday.

There were 897 catfish or grilled chicken plates sold — the highest total on record in the 52 years of the event.

For a photo gallery, click or tap here.

The 2021 Community Service Award was awarded posthumously to Greg Gibson. The president of Northwest Escambia (NWE) Chiefs Football and Cheer since 2013 passed away in August.

“He has changed many lives. His memory and actions will continue changing people’s lives forever,” Walnut Hill Chief Kevin Mininger said about Greg Gibson Saturday before presenting the award to his wife, Sylvia Gibson.

Diann Stewart, who is retiring from the department, was named Officer of the Year. She began her service in July 1992 as an EMT and CPR and first responder lead trainer. She has been a firefighter, a fire lieutenant and a fire captain. Her husband, former Walnut Hill Fire Chief Robert Stewart, passed away in 2012.

“She still gave her time unselfishly for nine more years,” current Mininger said. “We would like to thank her for the dedication and willingness to serve our community.”

Austin Snyder was named Walnut Hill Firefighter of the Year, an award chosen by his fellow firefighters.

Proceeds from the event are used by the department for equipment and to assist displaced fire victims.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.


7 Responses to “Walnut Hill VFD Honors Firefighters, NWE Coach Greg Gibson During Record Breaking Fish Fry”

  1. Kim on November 15th, 2021 3:39 pm

    Well deserved retirement for my Aunt Diann….thank you so much for your service & she has always been there to help all her family too anytime we needed her!! Congratulations to her and Austin my coworker who is always there for everyone when they need him too!! What a wonderful tribute to Greg & Sylvia…I volunteered with them for years and they both worked so tirelessly for the benefit of the community!! All three very deserving of these awards!!! Great people!!

  2. Jr on November 15th, 2021 8:24 am

    Congratulations and a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who attended this event. Looking at this from the outside it was a great time. To those recognized, your contributions to the Community are appreciated. I live a little bit south of your Community but the people that make up this area are always stepping up when needed.

  3. Renee Godwin on November 14th, 2021 8:14 pm

    Dianne, Thanks for your 30 years of volunteer service. Always helping, caring and serving those in need. Thanks for all you’ve done.

  4. Janice on November 14th, 2021 6:14 pm

    Congratulations, Ms. Diann! Much love and respect to you! Enjoy your retirement❤️

  5. Carl on November 14th, 2021 10:34 am

    I love this positive story.
    Good people and friends for life
    God Bless them all.

  6. pat spicer on November 14th, 2021 8:19 am

    this was awesome took my mamma…great job everyone!!!!!

  7. Debbie on November 14th, 2021 7:52 am

    Good job to everyone who worked hard to pull this off . “897″ plates !!! That took a lot of hard work on those folks part . Good Food – Good Weather – Good People
    What a day !!

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