Local firefighters recently received the Mrs. Goldie B. Floberg Memorial Leadership Award for 2009 from the nonprofit center for children and adults with developmental disabilities in Rockton.

The award went to Rockford Firefighters Local 413, who for 35 years have prepared and served Thanksgiving dinner for the children who live at Goldie Floberg Center. The fun starts on the Monday of Thanksgiving week, when the children help shop for groceries for the meal.

They also tour a Rockford fire station, explore the firetrucks and enjoy a treat.

The firefighters involve the children on the night before Thanksgiving, when they begin kitchen duty. Besides cooking, the crews and their families spend time entertaining the children with balloon sculptures, karaoke and reading. Children even get to try on the firefighters’ boots, hats and uniforms.

The leadership award was established to honor a center staff member, board member or volunteer.