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Firefighting can be very strenuous and members must be physically fit to perform their duties. With this in mind, the Fire Company has realized the importance of athletic activity as not only a social outlet, but as a way to help keep members physically fit. The earliest form was parading. In 1938 the Fire Company formed a marching unit and has participated in parades every year since.

The next organized unit was the Ball Team. As early as the 1940’s firemen participated in various leagues. Ken Hull is believed to have organized many of these teams. A league was formed for the volunteer firemen in the County in 1955. The Fire Company has participated each year since. Some teams were better than others. The Softball Team won the coveted Erie County Volunteer Firemen’s Southern Division Championship in 1988 & 1989 under managers Carl Wappman and Tim Rektorik. They won it again in 2011 with manager Tom Putman. Some of the noteworthy longtime ball players were Brian Bleistein, Rick Crandall, Tom Dietrick, Bill Greene, Mark Heilig, Ken & Bob Hull, Larry Januchowski III, Pat F. & Pat L. Keefe, Jim Lengel, Chet Lipka, Glenn Mead, Don McMahon, Carmen “Pete” Monaco, George Plumer, Frank C. Pluta, Tom Putman, Jack Scanlon, Bob Scheelar, Carl Soby, Jeff Sweetland, Lou Willis, Carl Wappman, Howie Wertz. The first female members were Kathy Defilippo (Sweetland) and Mary Fennell (Gates) who were both excellent ballplayers.

Basketball was popular at Lake Shore since 1949. Member G. Benjamin Werner who was also a Town Councilman and later Supervisor, pushed for a second floor to be added to the “new” Fire hall that was built in 1948 and finished in 1949. He wanted to see a basketball court for the youth of the community. It was built that way and there were youth basketball leagues that used the fire hall through the early 60’s. After that the Junior Firemen and Firemen used the upstairs hall for recreation.

Bowling was another sport that was popular in the Fall/Winter. St. Francis High School had lanes in their athletic center and the Fire Company had its own league there for many years. After St. Francis closed their lanes, the league moved to the Leisureland Lanes on Camp Road. This league was not as popular and less understanding to firemen. While at St. Francis, the Firemen were allowed to leave to answer calls and could make-up games at a later time. This was not the case at Leisureland and led to too many issues. A Volunteer Firemen’s League was formed in the Town and was held on Friday Nights. This being the Fire Company meeting night, it was difficult to have a team.

There has been many bowling events held by the Fire Company, Exempts and Ladies Auxiliary since the teams went by the wayside. In recent years, there has been an unofficial league which is made up almost completely by Fire Company members and their spouses.

Many Fire Companies in the area had competition teams involving motorized apparatus, they were generally associated with the Western New York Firemen’s Assoc. Lake Shore had some interest but never went to that level. They did compete in some “old fashioned tournaments” and placed in water hook-ups and efficiency runs. Waterball was also a favorite of Lake Shore and we continue to particpate when possible.

We have participated in Firematic tournaments, many waterball competitions, tug of wars, etc. For a time in the late 70’s, volleyball was popular and there were numerous games held in the upstairs hall with competition between the Fire Co., Juniors and Lake Shorettes. There has been horseshoe pits at the Rogers Station for many years and that has been a popular event at many social functions. Tournaments are held at the company Stag and Family Picnic.

This page is dedicated to deceased member John Machina.

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