In the kitchen with Bill Weaver

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His desire to help others started early for Bill Weaver, from hanging around at the firehouse down the street from his childhood home and befriending the men there. He joined the fire department when he was 16, and, 35 years later, is still an active member of Company 6, along with his two grown sons, William, 25, and Matthew, 20.

When the boys were young, Weaver helped out at school functions and coached them both in football. Although he didn't know about the sport, he also helped out at wrestling meets, setting up mats, cooking in the kitchen and getting food donations for home matches. Weaver drives a sanitation truck, and he said, "I've been in my line of business for a long time and…became friends with a lot of people and whatever I asked the customers — they always helped out (with donations).

Weaver became famous for the Nestlé's Toll House Cookies he would bake for school events. He explained that his late wife, Pam, was pregnant with their youngest son and had volunteered to bake cookies for a craft fair. However, when the time came, she was very close to delivery and Weaver baked them instead.

"They became a hit and I've been baking them for 20 years," Weaver said,

Despite getting up in the wee hours for his job, Weaver still finds the time to volunteer for his community. He's a member of the Elks and is there to cook breakfast every second Sunday of the month, and occasionally helps out with the Friday night dinners, which he'd love to see more people patronize.

"I don't really follow recipes; I just grab something and just mix it up," he said, talking about when he's cooking for the Elks. And when he bakes, "I don't measure exact amounts."

He's a long-time member of the town's Recycling Committee and helps with beautification projects. He helped deliver the planters put out last year, and wants to remind people that the town Beautification Day is coming up on April 22 this year.

Weaver's always ready to lend a helping hand or raise money for worthy causes. Besides work and firefighting, the Elks and the Recycling Committee, he attends meetings for those groups, usually at night. It's quite a commitment for a man who gets up at 3 a.m. to go to work.

Weaver's wife, Pam, passed away in 2009. He found happiness again with wife, Tracy, and remarried two years ago.

He said he likes to do things in a different way, and the wedding was no exception, according to Weaver.

"We used one of the fire trucks for the wedding; it made the Channel 12 News…We brought the tower truck up to Upper Greenwood Lake and Tracy got in the bucket and my Assistant Chief Joe Corcoran raised her up 105 feet and then I climbed up the ladder."

He gave her kiss. The couple was lowered and married at the Upper Greenwood Lake Clubhouse by Mayor Bettina Bieri. When told his wife sounded like she has a spontaneous spirit, Weaver replied, "She's married to me, so…"

What prompts him to do all this volunteer work?

"It's something that I've always done…" Weaver said. "I just like helping people –it's just something in me."

Weaver said he uses the Nestlé's Toll House Cookie recipe — "minus the salt, plus a little love."

Bill's version of Nestlé's Toll House Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine flour, baking soda (and salt) in small bowl.
Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts (optional).
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets on wire racks for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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