Fundraiser underway for Firemen’s Association equipment

Friday, September 4, 2020

The Alta Firemen’s Association Annual Fundraiser 2020, an August event, was different this year in that the community was unable to meet and talk with fire department personnel to get to know them better. However, the goal remains the same - to raise money for essential equipment, this year new two-way radios.

Because of COVID-19, the appreciation meal was canceled. Instead, brochures were mailed to citizens in the Alta fire district which can be mailed back with a donation.

Natalie Meyer, a FF/EMT who also serves as the EMS Director for the fire department, said the fundraiser has occurred for more than 50 years. “This year things are a little different,” she said.

“We normally canvas the town and then mail out letters to the country. Sometime in August, we serve an appreciation meal with a free will offering. Due to Covid-19 and the concerns of large gatherings, we have decided to cancel the meal and mailed out brochures to all of the Alta fire district,” Meyer said.

Lindsay Brown is a Firefighter/AEMT and serves as the department’s training officer. “We sent a brochure to the residents in our district with information about our project with instructions on how to donate if they are interested in helping us out,” she said.

Essentially, human interaction was curtailed this year. “The appreciation meal is generally a time for us to converse with the community and talk to them about our needs and how the money raised will benefit our department. This year we are raising funds for much needed new radios to help with communications on scene as well as to dispatch,” Meyer said.

“During the appreciation meal, we also enjoy giving out antique fire truck rides around town to all of the kids (and adults). It is a great way for the community to see our faces and become familiar with who is all on the fire department. We will be having an appreciation meal next year and look forward to serving our communities,” Meyer said.

Brown spoke of this year’s fundraising goal. “Each year for this fundraiser we choose a project based on the needs of the community and our department and earmark the funds raised for that project. Last year we were about to buy a washer/extractor and dryer to vastly decrease the amount of time it takes to clean the harmful contaminants from our gear. This year we are raising funds to purchase radios to improve communication on scene.”

“Normally, we send out our letter inviting the residents of our fire district to a meal. We have the meal at the community building each year so we can see and talk to the residents in our fire district. It’s a great chance to see everyone and share a little about what we do. Because of concerns with holding a large gathering during this time, we are not having the meal this year,” Brown said.

“We have held an annual fundraiser in August for many years. It used to be a big dance and was even held at the Cobblestone Ballroom in Storm Lake way back when. Over time we have made changes, but the spirit is the same,” Brown said.

The Alta Firemen’s Association is a nonprofit organization made up of members of the Alta Fire Department, numbering 29 members. Equipment is purchased through fundraising and grants. They provide service to the city of Alta as well as the Maple Valley, Nokomis and Elk townships.

The association provides support to schools, fairs and various events. Kirk (Bubba) Reetz is the fire chief.

Although a full year away, plans are already underway for next year’s annual appreciation event to return as normal. It is scheduled for August 22nd, 2021.