Many years ago, most major thoroughfares into West Seneca featured large metal signs with the words “West Seneca Chamber of Commerce, Church & Service Clubs Welcome You.” The unique design of the signs was also a reflection on our town’s Native America heritage.

As the years went by, the signs faded and eventually went away. But while the West Seneca Chamber of Commerce staff was recently preparing to move its office from the Southgate Plaza to the new Community Center & Library at 1300 Union Road, they uncovered one of the faded yet historic signs in a storage area. Wanting it to stay in West Seneca but having no room to properly display it, the Chamber turned to the Firemen’s Memorial Exhibit Center of Western New York, located at 4141 Seneca St. in West Seneca, for assistance.

“While the sign is not in any way fire related, it is a symbol of our proud past,” said Joe Kirchmyer, executive director of the West Seneca Chamber of Commerce. “We were looking for a place in town that would be interested in displaying the sign, and Jim Kavanaugh of the Firemen’s Memorial Exhibit Center said he would give it a good home.”

As a result, the Chamber and the Firemen’s Memorial Exhibit Center will hold a free open house and unveiling of the historic sign from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, in the Firemen’s Memorial Exhibit Center. The unveiling will take place shortly after 10 a.m.

“Admission to this family event is free, however, we are asking attendees to consider making a freewill donation of any amount to the Firemen’s Memorial Exhibit Center while they view the thousands of items currently on display in the 6,500-square-foot facility. This place is truly one of West Seneca’s hidden gems, and we hope the community turns out for this special event and shows their support,” Kirchmyer added.

Also at the Sept. 15 event, volunteers will be grilling and selling hot dogs and other treats under a tent in the parking lot, so be sure to bring your appetite. This will also be your last chance to purchase tickets for the Firemen’s Memorial Exhibit Center’s Money Tree Raffle. Tickets are $1 each or a book of seven for just $5. The winning ticket will be drawn at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 15, and the winner need not be present to win.