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Dinner To Honor Ossining Firefighter "Uncle Joe"

This article has been updated to correct the relationship between Joseph Lorenz and Jason Lorenz. Jason Lorenz is Joseph Lorenz's nephew.

OSSINING, N.Y. – Before he died from a rare form of lymphoma, Joseph Lorenz used to walk around the Briarcliff reservoir on weekends and then drive around town, stopping to say hello at a various local businesses.

"Everybody knew his big red truck," said Christine Lorenz, Lorenz's 23-year-old daughter. "Everybody he came in contact with loved him."

To celebrate Lorenz's life and to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of the Hudson Valley, Lorenz's family has planned a fundraising dinner to be held Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Northside Firehouse at 23 Snowden Ave.

"It's pretty much a celebration of his life, and a come together and hang out," Christine Lorenz said.

The event is also a kick-off for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk which will be held Nov. 5 at Playland Park in Rye. There will be a suggested donation of $20 at the door, and all proceeds will go towards the "Uncle Joe" team at the Light the Night Walk.

Lorenz was carpenter by trade and a volunteer fire fighter with the Washington Hook and Ladder fire company for 31 years. He was nicknamed "Uncle Joe" because his nephew, Jason Lorenz, who is a first assistant chief with the Ossining fire department, used to call him by that name.

Lorenz was also a boy scout leader for Troop 49 from St. Augustine's church, and he celebrated his German descent by doing German folk dancing.

"He was very community oriented. He helped everybody, got them what they needed. He put others before himself," Christine Lorenz said.

Lorenz was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a rare form of cancer, in September 2010. He went into remission in May of this year, but was re-diagnosed with the disease in July. Lorenz died on Aug. 21, 2011.

"It was really tough for all of us. He fought very hard throughout the whole thing," Christine Lorenz said.

The Lorenz family raised $2000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society last year through the Light the Night Walk fundraising event, and this year they hope to raise even more money.

"Our goal is anywhere between 150 and 300 people" for the Saturday dinner event, Christine Lorenz said. "The event is open to the public. Anyone is welcome."

So far, everything for the event from food and soda to gift baskets has been donated, the daughter added.

Aside from a light-fare dinner, there will also be a cash bar, t-shirts, wrist bands and raffles.

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