SOUTH KITSAP — When Peter Bradrick bought a place known to locals as the “Goat House” at the intersection of Southworth Drive and Sedgwick Road across from Southworth Grocery, he had no clue about the property’s history.
In front of the house sits a stone with the colorful words “Welcome to Southworth”. The sale, including the rock, is part of former owner Ron Johnson’s will to support South Kitsap Fire and Rescue. Johnson He passed away in 2021 and handed over his house to SKFR. Following the permit, SKFR will sell the property and use some of the proceeds to purchase a new ambulance.
The neighbors, who now run Bradrick Realtor and Southworth Grocery, came up with an idea to bring neighbors in Southworth together and support the fire department.
Their plans include a yard sale, a pancake cookout and a Saturday brunch.
“We do it as two businesses in town to build the community and attract our neighborhood,” said Gabriela Ellingson, owner of Southworth Grocery, who came up with the idea to host the yard sale event. In the goat’s house.
The Goat House is now Bradrick’s home and the office of his real estate company, Red Banner Group. He plans to renovate the property and turn the house into an office, where he and his colleagues can meet clients.
Bradrick is not new to Southworth. After living there for many years as a child, Bradrick said he’s excited to be back in the community.
People can drop off items to contribute to the yard sale on Friday, and the sale starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Southworth Grocery will serve a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and a deli sampler lunch from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Bradrick said. The event will also feature live music and fire engines.
All proceeds from the event go toward SKFR’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) fund to purchase special equipment, tools or programs for the agency, said SKFR Chief Jeff Fawcett.
The yard sale is not directly related to Johnson’s will, but organizers thought it would be a good continuation to have SKFR continue to benefit from the property, said Jay Freeland of Southworth Grocers.
“We also want to bring the community together. That was our biggest talking point when we started the conversation at this event,” Freeland said.
SKFR support has started with snow storms.
Johnson’s drive to donate his home to South Kitsap Fire and Rescue began on a snowy day in 2006.
Johnson slipped and fell on the snow on the driveway outside his home. Johnson’s partner, Robert Robley, called 911 when he found him badly hurt. SKFR paramedics rushed him to the hospital in an ambulance. Johnson recovered – and decided to turn the property over to SKFR. Following the permit, SKFR sold the property to Bradrick in May and is in the process of purchasing a four-wheel-drive ambulance, Fawcett said.
A four-wheel drive ambulance costs approximately $350,000. The house sold for $490,000, and the rest of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Pilgrim Fours Camp and Conference Center on Lake Flora Road on Johnson’s behalf, Fawcett said.
Currently, SKFR has 10 ambulances, none of which are four-wheelers. A non-four-wheel drive ambulance costs around $300,000. Johnson’s gift will make it safer for SKFR crews to drive in the snow to save lives, Fawcett said.
Fawcett anticipates that SKFR will receive the new ambulance next year and that SKFR will hold a ceremony to recognize Johnson’s contributions. SKFR will place a plaque on the side of the ambulance to mark the vehicle as “in memory of Mr. Ron Johnson,” Fawcett said.
Fawcett first heard of Johnson’s story with SKFR in 2015. When he was promoted to fire chief in 2020, Steve Wright left his job to become executive director of the Washington Fire Chiefs Association. The fire chief had a chance to meet with Johnson and partner Robley to discuss the will before Johnson died, Fessett said.
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“He was just a special person, very kind, very soft-hearted, very humble. And he was very grateful and he’s a very, very good person,” Fawcett said. “I’m glad I met him before he died.”
It’s also Johnson’s permission for the new homeowner to keep a “Welcome to Southworth” stone on the property, Fawcett said.
Fawcett will join the event on Saturday and encourages others to come.
“Peter had a heart for South Kitsap, Port Orchard and the Southworth community. And I’m very excited about what he’s doing in that little area,” Fawcett said.
Organizers aren’t sure how many people will attend, but they hope to turn the sale into an annual community event, said Jay Freeland of Southworth Grocers.
“We’re a little nervous because we have no idea about the participants…we’re hoping this becomes an annual event,” Freeland said.
“Our hope is that this will be the first annual Southworth Community Yard Sale and Pancake Feed,” Bradrick said.
Reach breaking news reporter Peiyu Lin at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @peiyulintw.
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