Fire department fund-raiser a hit

ADDISON — The Addison Volunteer Fire Department is wrapping up a year in which community members not only gave their time and efforts in responding to emergencies, but also reached into their wallets and gave financial support to the department.
The total raised from this month’s tree lighting fund-raiser is not complete, but Geoff Nelson of the department’s finance committee said a few thousand dollars has been raised so far, and a few donations are still coming in.
This holiday fund-raiser is in its second year. The well-known Addison Volunteer Fire Department pancake breakfasts, which are held monthly during the winter, are in their 17th year. Nelson said these are “more than just a fund-raiser for us, we feel that they help to bring our community together. The pancake breakfasts have become a community event that we are pleased to be part of.
“On a good Sunday, we might have 150 or more in attendance,” he noted.
The department has a number of other fund-raisers through the year including an annual dinner dance for the community at the Eagles Club in Vergennes and a chicken barbecue in the summer.
As with other county fire departments, the fund-raising is crucial for the AVFD to cover purchase and maintenance of equipment and pay for training. The department’s fund-raising covers about 15-25 percent of its annual budget.
It also gets a lot of support from the Addison Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary. They just made a quilt that they will be raffling to help raise funds.
“We have been fortunate to have several new members join the department recently and our fund-raising helps to offset providing equipment and replacing equipment,” Nelson said.
The department also funds its activities through grants from private and government sources. For example, it recently obtained a grant to help replace communications equipment. Federal Communications Commission changes have required the AVFD to replace many of its older pagers and radios, to comply with FCC “narrow banding” regulations by 2013.
Addison fire department officials said they are grateful to the support they get from their community.
“We continue to be honored and humbled by the level of support we receive from our neighbors, particularly in these difficult times,” Nelson said.

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