The Princeton, Erris, Eastgate, Hayes Creek and Tulameen fire departments have been exhausted by two intense back-to-back wildfire seasons, left with little resources or time to do their own fundraising.
To pitch in and support these local fire departments, the Town of Princeton and partners hosted a second annual 50 Plus Impactful People event in their honour. But rather than simply hand out cheques, the event became a community competition. First, funds were raised through community donations, through ticket sales and through an online auction. Then, at the event, each fire department competed to be the recipient of the funds.
Tulameen fire chief, Jody Woodford had a great time giving her elevator pitch to the crowd, asking for funds to complete the new Coalmont fire station. Princeton fire chief, Rob Banks, said the town squad would use the donation for new pumps, hoses, and ladders, while Erris fire chief, Dave Stringfellow, said that the department wants to buy a land skiff to assist wildland firefighting.
Everyone at the event voted, with the Tulameen department winning this competition, and taking home 80% of the ticket sale proceeds. The other departments didn’t leave empty-handed. With corporate donations from Weyerhaeuser, Copper Mountain Mining Corp, FortisBC, and the Princeton Legion and an online auction of donated items such as a chainsaw, highway emergency kit, wood fuel pellets and much more, all the fire departments won big.
Recognizing that while the community needed to raise funds today, but to also have funds on hand for the future, money was donated to the Princeton and District Community Fund. Through this fund, donated dollars are invested, with the earnings awarded year after year to local projects, events and programs.
Special thanks to mayor Spencer Coyne and the Town of Princeton for donating use of the airport, to Copper Pit Restaurant for serving up pork sliders and to Seven Stones for wine donations. Truly, the impact was huge – with community building, community appreciation and community funding all rolled into one local event.