Organization’s fundraising efforts have been hurt during pandemic
EAST SHELBY – Relaxing the Covid restrictions couldn’t some soon enough for many, including the East Shelby Firemen’s Ladies Auxiliary.
Like every other fire companies, businesses and organizations in the country, activities had to be canceled or put on hold due to the pandemic, but now things are changing.
With the increase in Covid vaccinations and decrease in cases, the Auxiliary has decided to go ahead with a spring basket raffle and fundraiser June 12 at the fire hall. They are calling it “We’re Back Basket Raffle.”
Auxiliary president Bronwyn Green said they have done basket raffles through the years during other fundraisers, such as their His and Hers’ Raffle, usually in April, and Casino Night in the winter. The firefighters have also done one during the “September to Remember” event at the fairgrounds, which was also canceled last year.
“As you can imagine, our coffers took a big hit last year due to the Covid pandemic restrictions,” Green said.
Green explained how important these fundraisers are to the Auxiliary and the Fire Company.
“The money the auxiliary raises goes toward equipment for our kitchen, donations to philanthropic causes, for recognition of members’ milestones in the Auxiliary and to support the firemen and women in our company,” she said. “Through the years, the money we have raised has helped to remodel our kitchen, purchase chairs for the new tables in the firehall and to provide equipment for the firemen, to name a few causes. This past year we were unable to provide a gift to the department, as our fundraising opportunities were stripped away by the pandemic.”
In addition to the basket raffle, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 12, the Auxiliary will have a side raffle of a $200 gift certificate to the soon-to-be-opened Bent’s Opera House. This generous donation can be used by the winner to have dinner at the Harvest Restaurant or a night at the hotel. In addition, there will be a lottery tree door prize giveaway.
“This is our first event where the public will be allowed in the fire hall,” Green said.
Guests must adhere to Covid guidelines in effect at the time. Tickets may be purchased on site for the basket raffle or the Bent’s Opera House drawing. There will also be hot dogs, chips and beverages for sale. The drawings may be observed at 3 p.m. in person or online on Facebook with Eli Howard.
“This event is so important for several reasons,” Green said. “We miss our supporters tremendously. We have been a successful fire company auxiliary in East Shelby since the 1950’s. Our company is our community. We have so many faithful supporters year after year, after year, after year – even if they aren’t lucky enough to have a winning ticket. They continue to come through for us in so many ways. We get to know them when they sit in our firehall and joke with our members, eat our food, drink our beverages and socialize with us and with one another. Our friends of the East Shelby Fire Hall have supported our events and sat in the same seats every year. Plain and simple – we miss them.”
A second reason events like this are so important is that the fire company needs training and equipment, and the money raised by Auxiliary fundraisers enable them to help the fire company any way they can.
The third reason is hall improvements are going to be needed, something that is never ending, Green said. And finally, the fire company has many veteran members who have made the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company what it is today.
“It is an organization of which both firefighters and our auxiliary members are beyond proud, and we owe it to these veterans, our supporters and the communities we serve to help maintain that pride in our company,” Green said. “We could not do it without the help of our faithful supporters.”
Green added they would welcome any donations of baskets or services from community members, should anyone wish to contribute.