By Lawrence Powell
When the doors open at the Annapolis Royal Volunteer Fire Department on October 15, local residents are in for a day of fun, food, entertainment, fire prevention education, music, and even some dancing as the department and its auxiliary turn up the heat on Fire Prevention Week and raise some much-needed funds at the same time.
Included in the day’s busy schedule is the annual Harvest Pantry Sale and Chinese Auction, one of the auxiliary’s two big yearly fundraisers.
“The auxiliary holds this fundraiser each fall in conjunction with the firefighters as they plan their fire prevention activities and open house all on the same day,” said auxiliary member Louise Oliver. “Without the generous support of our communities in the way of produce, baked goods, pickles, jams, Chinese auction items, donations, and community musicians this event would not be as successful as it is.”
The pantry sale and auction runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and besides all the auction and pantry sale goods, includes 50/50 tickets and ticks on a variety of baskets. Also part of the lineup will be a special 200th anniversary cake celebrating two centuries of firefighter service in the town, plus Mary’s Islanders Dance Group will perform from 11:30 a.m. to 12 noon.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the firefighters will hold an open house and are encouraging all families to attend their fire prevention activities. This year’s theme is ‘Protecting Your Family From Fire.’ The department’s members will provide all manner of information designed to raise awareness of fire dangers and what you can do to prevent fires, and what to do when one breaks out.
Firefighters train to fight fires on a weekly basis but are also qualified experts on fire prevention, knowledge they are only too willing to pass on to the public in an effort to reduce injuries, deaths, and property damage.
The auxiliary, on the other hand, plays a vital role in making sure the firefighters are well equipped and able to do their job.
“The main objective of the auxiliary is to raise funds to help the men in purchasing equipment, supplies, repairs, and/or whatever else is needed to maintain the fire hall so they can better protect our communities,” said Oliver.
On Saturday evening, local musicians take to the stage from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Ready to perform will be Raymond Weir and Family, Kiersten Hatchard, Granville Feral Band, Kenny Hannam and the Renegades, Mountain Ridge, Theresa Porter, and Jeff Tooker.
Admission is a free will offering at the door. Those attending can also buy tickets on a variety of baskets, on a 50/50 draw, and Chinese auction. With the canteen open, nobody should go hungry.
All proceeds will go to support the Annapolis Royal Volunteer Fire Department.
“The Musical Evening consists of local talent of all ages who come and donate their time to play and sing in support of the fire department,” said Oliver.
Another major fundraiser for the ARVFD auxiliary is the annual Christmas Craft Show in December.
“It is a great way to kick off the holiday season and you can find something for even the hardest person on your list,” said Oliver.
“As with every committee there never seems to be enough hands,” she said. “If you are looking to spend some time with a volunteer group we would love to have you. It is a very rewarding experience.”