Ten years ago, Ken Crompton passed along some information to Brian Birmingham who in turn, began a ‘pass the hat’ fundraiser during parties at his home, beginning the fundraising efforts for a new truck for the Princeton Highway Extrication Society.
Since then, the society has held hot dog sales, sold hats and sandbags and built the little red rescue truck coin banks that you see at the local gas stations – to gather donations.
At the end of 2011, Princeton Husky employee John English initiated a major fundraiser with the local papers.
“The real driving force with the fundraising was when people realized that we weren’t funded by the government or the municipality,” said society president, Doug Pateman.
Husky has been a terrific sponsor of the society for years, providing fuel for the truck and allowing the sale of their sandbags. (Town donates bags and sand is donated by Princeton Redi- Mix)
Over the past year major contributors have come forward and assisted the society.
Seeing another rescue truck on her travels caused past president of the Princeton Hospital Auxiliary, to shake her head and bring her tale to the rest of the board.
“Our truck was just pitiful in comparison,” she said. The board did some looking into what the Extrication Society had and what they needed. They made the decision to make sure the society got their new truck. “With the work they do on our highways, they deserve to have proper equipment,” said Ann Middleton.
RDOS Area H director Brad Hope has assisted with acquiring grant funding, he too feels that the society is deserving of proper equipment.
With thanks to Jeff Larsen and Rob Marshall of Princeton Weyerhaeuser, the society received a Weyerhaeuser Canada Community Grant.
Most recently, a fundraiser arranged by Rick Gullason, Lana Anderson and Stacie Strong was held at the Copper Mountain Pub and Restaurant. Sam from the pub donated half of the dinner ticket cost to the society. Lindsay Walsh, Eva Pratico, The Tin Whistle Brewery, Kal Tire (Mining Group), Shelby Ortwein, Susan Jakubec, Work n’ Play, Copper Mountain Pub & Restaurant, Princeton Golf, Princeton Co-Gen, The Princeton Posse, Everything Pets, Cooper’s Foods, Similkameen Soaps, Home Hardware, The Source and Fletchers Building Supplies all provided items for a silent auction.
Corporate sponsors are Auto Tac and the Similkameen Spotlight who Pateman says, “have been wonderful with their support.”
Pateman says that the arrival of this truck is the dream of three presidents; Nick Goreas, Peter Hartinger and himself (Doug Pateman) along with senior members; Ian Elko, Sandy Lewis and Shelby Smith. The Princeton Extrication Society membership is extremely grateful to all the major contributors, corporate sponsors and everyone in the community who has assisted in making the dream a reality. “Thank you for the recognition and for your support,” he said.
The society will continue to raise funds to finish payment of the truck, upgrade equipment and their skills with rescue training sessions.