AUBURN, Mass. - The Auburn Fire Department is preparing to celebrate the life of Lt. Paul Wood this weekend with a concert that will help raise money for a charitable cause.
What You Need To Know
- "Woodystock" will be held this weekend in Webster to celebrate the life of Auburn Fire Lt. Paul Wood
- Money raised will benefit the Paul Wood Foundation, which seeks to support organizations that help first responders' mental health
- Wood passed away last July, and friends and family started the foundation shortly after his death
- "Woodystock" will be held July 22 at 200 Sportsmen Club in Webster from noon to 10 p.m.
"Woodystock" will be held at 200 Sportsmen Club in Webster on Saturday, July 22 from noon to 10 p.m. The event will feature six bands, and proceeds will benefit the Paul Wood Foundation.
Fellow firefighters like Stephen Anderson, who organized Woodystock, remember Wood as a larger-than-life personality in the department who was always looking out for them.
“Paul cared about his people, Paul always wanted to make sure that everybody made it home safe,” Anderson said. “He cared about their well-being. Paul was also the funny guy at the fire station. He always lightened the day by a casual joke here and there.”
Fire Chief Stephen Coleman also recalled Wood’s ability to make people laugh, but like Anderson, the trait he’s recalled most since his passing has been his commitment to ensuring his team was taking care of themselves.
Shortly after Wood suffered an off-duty heart attack and died in July 2022, his friends and family launched the Paul Wood Foundation to continue his legacy.
The foundation supports organizations that provide Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
"It was a cause Paul really believed in, he felt that if your mental health as a first responder was not where it should be, then you had a hard time with that work and life balance,” Coleman said. “So that’s what the Paul Wood Foundation aims to support is keeping good mental health for first responders.”
Now in operation for more than a year, they hope Woodystock will help grow the foundation and give it new exposure and financial resources to carry out the mission.
Coleman said music was always a big part of Paul’s life.
“Paul was a huge music guy, that’s actually how I first met Paul,” Coleman said. “We used to throw some pretty big summer parties back in the day and we used to hire live bands. Paul was a fill-in drummer for one of the bands we hired one year, that’s how I met Paul. He was a big lover of music.”
For the past few months, Anderson, who is now retired from the Auburn Fire Department, has been busy planning Woodystock, and he’s excited for the day to finally arrive.
“The response has been great," Anderson said. "We have a lot of presale tickets. tThe community has come together, we’ve had a lot of people making donations for gift baskets and for prizes and raffles and things such as that."
While weather currently appears good for Saturday, Anderson said a rain date is set for July 29 just in case. For more information on the Woodystock, visit the Paul Wood Foundation website.