Princeton and area fire departments were awarded nearly $50,000 for various projects at the second annual 50 Plus Impactful People of Princeton event held Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Princeton airport.
The fundraiser was organized by the South Okanagan Community Foundation and headed by foundation representative Kim English, and Princeton town councillor Barb Gould.
The challenge was for people to attend, listen to pitches from three fire departments about their funding needs, and then vote for the most worthy cause.
“Everybody is a winner,” said English.
While the Tulameen Volunteer Fire Department received the most votes, and therefore the majority of the ticket sales, corporate sponsors Weyerhaeuser and Copper Mountain each made significant donations.
The mill gave $5,000 to five regional fire departments from Princeton, Tulameen, Erris, Hayes Creek and Eastgate, and the mine gave $5,000 to Princeton, Erris and Tulameen.
In its inaugural year the event focused on charities that served social needs. English said this year it was important to assist first responders whose resources were taxed by two back-to-back fire seasons and were unable to do their own fundraising.
The Tulameen fire department, represented by fire chief Jody Woodford, explained her department’s need for funds to complete the building of the new Coalmont fire station.
Rob Banks, Princeton fire chief, said the town squad will use the donation for new pumps, houses, and ladders.
Erris fire chief Dave Stringfellow said that department is looking to buy a land skiff to assist in wildland firefighting.
The event was supported with great enthusiasm by local businesses, according to Gould, who solicited gate prizes and donates for an online silent auction.
The total amount raised was $49,330.
“It always amazes me the way this community comes together,” said Gould.
Food for the event was provided by Copper Pit, and wine and other beverages were served by Steven Stones. Other major sponsors included Fortis BC and the Princeton Legion.
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