Firefighting, News, Volunteer Fire Service

CT Community Steps Up After Virus Cancels Fire Department’s Annual Fundraising Carnival

According to a report from WTNH, this weekend was supposed to be the 95th Annual Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival—the Orange (CT) Volunteer Fire Department’s (OVFD’s) biggest fundraiser of the year. However, it has been cancelled because of concerns over the coronavirus. This marks the event’s first cancellation since World War II.

However, the OVFD is getting creative to raise its necessary funding.

OVFD Chief Vaughan Dumas said that the carnival is responsible for about one-third of the department’s revenue to pay for our budget each year. Now the department has gotten creative in how they’re raising these necessary funds. 

The board of finance and Co-chairman Jim Leahy spearheaded the “50,000 Fire Truck Challenge” as a GoFundMe page to help recuperate some of the department’s losses in revenue.

In addition to the GoFundMe page and an ongoing raffle this weekend, local businesses have also stepped in to keep the volunteers’ heads above water.  For instance, Small Town Nutrition is pledging to donate all of its proceeds next week to the challenge. 

The goal is to reach $50,000 or more, which will cover the upcoming loan payment for the department’s newest fire truck.

In 2019, the OVFD bought a new quint apparatus that cost it nearly $900,000, with a $50,000 truck payment due on the loan in October. That money would have been generated by the carnival.

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