Travolta honored for starting a detoxification to aid firefighters 22, 2010

Ocala Fire Chief Dan Gentry gave John Travolta an Ocala fire helmet earlier this month, as city and county firefighters thanked the actor for helping start a detoxification program designed to improve firefighters' health.

This summer, about 15 local city and county fire department employees went through the intensive detoxification program funded by $26,000 Travolta and wife Kelly Preston helped raise at an April, Paris-themed benefit gala in Ocala. The gala featured the local premiere of Travolta's film “From Paris with Love.”

Started by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, detoxification treatments are designed to rid the body of toxins - such as those firefighters often encounter - through saunas, aerobic exercise, niacin and lots of water.

At the small presentation on Sept. 7, about 75 people - mostly firefighters - got to meet Travolta. The helmet Gentry gave Travolta had the number “49” on it; Travolta started helping firefighters through detoxification after his 2004 firefighter drama “Ladder 49.”

County Fire Chief Stuart McElhaney also attended the event, which was low-key because Travolta wanted to be with the firefighters without media attention or other distractions. He stayed for about an hour, noted Ocala Fire Rescue's Brian Stoothoff.

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