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Sackville fire chief taking fundraising to new heights

This year’s Sackville Fire & Rescue truck draw fundraiser is already off to a strong start.
This year’s Sackville Fire & Rescue truck draw fundraiser is already off to a strong start. - Contributed

Ladder sit planned for Saturday, Aug. 18

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Sackville Fire and Rescue chief Craig Bowser will soon

In this file photo, Sackville Fire and Rescue chief Craig Bowser sits atop the department’s aerial unit at Sackville’s Main Street Esso during a fundraiser that saw him lowered one foot for every truck draw ticket sold. On the ground, from left, are firefighters Walter Allen, Wendell Crossman, Mike Green and Luke Miller. Bowser will go aloft in the aerial unit once again this year on Saturday, Aug. 18, in an effort to boost ticket sales.
In this file photo, Sackville Fire and Rescue chief Craig Bowser sits atop the department’s aerial unit at Sackville’s Main Street Esso during a fundraiser that saw him lowered one foot for every truck draw ticket sold. On the ground, from left, are firefighters Walter Allen, Wendell Crossman, Mike Green and Luke Miller. Bowser will go aloft in the aerial unit once again this year on Saturday, Aug. 18, in an effort to boost ticket sales.

have a bird’s eye view of Sackville – the only question is, for how long?

Bowser has agreed to sit aloft in the department’s ladder truck bucket Saturday, Aug. 18 to support the annual Sackville Fire and Rescue truck draw fundraiser. He’ll be hoisted to the truck’s maximum height of 75 feet, then lowered one foot for every ticket purchased. The event will be in the Main Street Esso parking lot, getting underway at 9 a.m.

Laura Thurston, a member of the fundraising committee, said ticket sales are going well, but traditionally people wait until the last minute. Often, tickets are bought during the Sackville Fall Fair weekend when the winner is drawn, which can be a cause for concern.

“The only downfall with doing that is we’re a little weather-dependent that weekend. So we always get a little nervous if we’re not near our ticket count goal that one of these years we’re going to have some cold, rainy weather and we just won’t have the turnout we typically do.”

There’s added incentive this year for fire department members to sell out of tickets.

“One of our members, Rodney Turner, he has a full head of hair and a full beard,” Thurston said. “And he has offered to shave his head or dye his hair any colour we wish if we sell out of truck draw tickets. I would love to see that.”

In 2013, Bowser took part in a similar fundraiser for the truck draw, starting out at the 75-foot height and setting foot on solid ground again by 1 p.m. the same day.

This year, however, there’s a twist.

“If somebody buys five truck draw tickets,” Thurston explained, “they can decide to bring him down five feet or raise him five feet.”

Funds raised will be used to construct a new training facility customized to suit the department’s needs.

“Due to environmental concerns, we don’t do much for live burns anymore, outside or with old houses, so there’s new training facilities that use old shipping containers you can customize, and that gives us the ability to do interior attack for fire; we would be able to train on flashover, smoke inhalation, search and rescue, all that kind of stuff.”

In previous years the truck was purchased in advance. This year, however, the winner will be able to apply the value of the truck to any vehicle line the Allen Auto Group carries. In addition to choosing a vehicle of equal or lesser value, the winner could choose a vehicle of higher value, as financing options are available through the Allen Auto Group. If a vehicle of lesser value is chosen, remaining funds go back to the fire department for the new training facility.

Fire department members will also be on hand selling tickets at the Main Street Esso, Thurston said, typically on Wednesday each week, from now until the Sept. 22 draw, at 7 p.m. at the local fire hall.

For more information on this year’s fundraiser, visit the Sackville Fire and Rescue Facebook page, phone Thurston at 506-871-4074 or e-mail her at ljaytrav@yahoo.ca.

About the Sackville Fire and Rescue truck draw fundraiser

A total of 3,500 tickets are printed for the annual fundraiser. If 2,800 tickets are not sold by the draw date, which is Sept. 22, 2018, at 7 p.m., the prize will be a 50/50 draw.

The grand prize for this year’s draw is a 2018 Dodge Ram 1500 ST Quad Cab 4X4 (or any new 2018 model vehicle of equal, higher or lesser value based on manufacturer’s program with Allen Auto Group at the time of the draw). Other prizes include: a $3,000 trip voucher from Maritime Travel (or $2,400 in cash); a 2,000 Watt Honda generator from Fort Equipment; $1,000 in gas from Sackville Esso; a Dewalt combo kit from Tantramar Electric; and $700 in groceries from Rose’s Your Independent Grocer.

Tickets are $20 each and include approximately $75 in coupons from local businesses. Tickets can be purchased from fire department members, Main Street Esso, UAP NAPA, Gary Estabrooks Auto Service and KD Glass & Accessories. Anyone who purchases 10 truck draw tickets ($200 worth) will have their name or business name advertised in the Sackville Tribune-Post and on the department’s Facebook page as a gold level supporter. Anyone who purchases 25 truck draw tickets ($500 worth) will have their name or business name advertised as a platinum level supporter and they and a guest will be honoured guests at the Sackville Fire and Rescue annual lobster party.

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