Help A Pyro

Help-a-Pyro began over 10 years ago when its Founder, past PGI President Bill Bahr, asked a close friend if he had his reservations for the Convention. After learning his friend wouldn't be able to attend due to financial difficulties, Bill printed a batch of 50/50 Raffle Tickets and asked friends to sell them. Thus, Help-a-Pyro was born.
Over the years, Help-a-Pyro has allowed many PGI members to attend Convention who otherwise would not have been able to do so.
On average Help-a-Pyro helps two to three people attend the Convention each year, occasionally helping an entire family continue their tradition of visiting the PGI Convention.
Help-a-Pyro is funded by the donations of PGI members and the 50/50 Raffle held at each year’s Convention, with the winner being drawn at the Convention Banquet, though you need not be present to win.

If you have substantial medical expenses or have lost your job or are short of funds for any other reason and thus would be unable to attend the 2019 Convention, don't be shy. Help-a-Pyro has funds to help any PGI member pyro that is in need. 
The Requirements for a Help-a-Pyro award are simple: 

You must have attended a convention within the last two years. Exceptions to this have been made.

You cannot be a repeat recipient. 

If funds are sent to you, you must attend the convention or return them.

You do not have to be a current PGI member when applying, but, this is strongly preferred. 

You MUST have a history of membership and participation at PGI conventions. Grants are NOT made to persons who have never been PGI members OR who have never attended our conventions. Each application is evaluated for merit on an individual basis by the four HAP Directors.
Applications for a grant need not follow any standard form and can be made at any time prior to the convention that allows sufficient time for the HAP directors to evaluate the request. Of course, our funds are limited. It is better to make requests earlier rather than later. Requests must be made by the potential recipient and cannot be made on behalf of someone else.
Send an email to the Help-a-Pyro board members to apply for a grant or to learn more about the program. All you need do (there is no application form) is state your history with the PGI, the reason you are in need, and request a specific dollar amount based upon a budget. The maximum permissible grant is $1500.00. Decisions to award funds are made on a rolling basis, so long as we have the funds to continue granting awards.


I recently became ill and lost my job.

I need $195 to register, $385 for airfare, and $840 for lodging. I am requesting a grant in the amount of $1420.00

My history with the PGI is that I joined in 2004 and have attended 11 of the past 15 years.
I usually volunteer time on the Security Team during the week.
The entire process is entirely confidential. From application to the awarding of the grant, only the HAP Directors are involved. The grant goes directly to the recipient. No one else is informed.
Help-a-Pyro Contacts:
Bruce Burns 
Thomas Handel
John Steinberg
Carol Hostetter
Email ddresses:,,,

Please support the Help-a-Pyro with your donations, if you can afford to do so.
If you're willing to help the fund that directly supports our members, please send a check, payable to Help-a-Pyro to the HAP Treasurer, John Steinberg.

c/o John Steinberg
3944 Carthage Road
Randallstown, MD 21133

100% of our funds are used to award grants. We have no overhead expenses and the HAP Directors are not allowed to submit for expense reimbursement. Carol Hostetter has even supplied the raffle tickets at her own expense for several years. Not one cent of your donations is used for any purpose other than awarding grants.