Douglass VFD to host benefit for former chief who just received heart transplant

DOUGLASS, TX (KTRE) - A former Douglass Volunteer Fire Department fire chief got out of a Houston Hospital Friday after having a heart transplant on March 7. Larry Hobson will remain in Houston for further recovery.

You can bet if he could, he would be in Douglass tomorrow saying thank you at a benefit in his honor. East Texas News visited with a group of firefighters who say they're the ones expressing thanks for Larry.

Larry Hobson gave a thumbs-up for a successful heart transplant surgery, while Douglass Volunteer Firefighters talk about their buddy's "heart of gold."

"He does, a big heart. Larry loves everybody," said Phil Holland, the chief of the Douglass Volunteer Fire Department. "Like I said, he's first in line to help somebody out."

Hobson served as Douglass fire chief for 20 years. He's accustomed to saving lives. The chief's younger brother recalled the day when a heart became available.

"That was a really bad situation because you feel for the family that lost the loved one that had to give up the heart, but then again he was very thankful that we was able to get it," said Bobby Hobson, Larry Hobson's younger brother.

As firefighters familiarized themselves with a brand new fire truck Friday, they couldn't help but think of Larry Hobson's eye for detail. He thinks of everything, they said.

"He wanted to show the community support," Holland said. "That's our school mascot."

That community pride is expected to bring out over 400 people to a benefit barbeque for Larry Hobson. It will be Saturday at First Baptist Church.

"He would be the first in line if someone was in need to help out and just, and just try to help him out all we can," Holland said.

And what would Larry Hobson say about all this?

He would probably say this wasn't necessary," Larry Hobson said. "He would be the one wanting to do it for somebody else. He would rather give than to receive it."

The Douglass Volunteer Fire Department will be serving brisket and chicken for $10 or whatever you're willing to donate. It starts at 11 a.m. and goes until the food runs out. It all takes place tomorrow at the First Baptist Church in Douglass on Highway 21.

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