Firefighter, Son Bike Across Country to Raise Funds for Fire Apparatus

Hugh Evans and Alex Turanski with the company's old rig.

A firefighter and his son are riding their bicycles across the country to try and raise money for a new apparatus for their department.

Hugh Evans and Alex Turanski, a father-and-son team from Penobscot, Maine, are raising funds in support of their home town’s volunteer fire company. Their goal is to raise $150,000 for a new fire truck to replace an outdated 1978 Mack.

A new truck will cost the town over $250,000. Penobscot, a small town on the coast of Maine, has been putting aside funds for a new truck for four years, but the high cost of the truck along with the rate of inflation makes saving enough money for a new truck difficult. Gathering pledges for each mile they ride, Hugh and Alex hope that they can raise enough to make the purchase a reality.

Beginning in early June, they will be riding from Bolinas, California to Penobscot. They plan to average 80 miles per day over a six-week period, stopping when possible at local fire stations along the way.

The trip will be more than just a fundraiser. “I want to highlight small rural companies like the ones I serve,” Hugh says. “I want to encourage people we meet on the way to recognize and support their local departments. We rely on volunteers willing to do the training, to fight the fires, to respond to accidents, and to do the support work. In many ways this trip is bigger than a truck for Penobscot–it is a promotion for the work of volunteer fire services in general.”   

Alex Turanski and Hugh Evans

As for biking across the country, Hugh says, “I took a similar bicycle trip when I was about the same age that Alex is now, riding over 13,000 miles in a year across this country and western Europe. That experience gave me a great sense of myself, and my place in the world.  I can think of nothing better than to be able to share this with my son.” 

“I have always looked up to my dad for doing his trip and have  wanted to pursue the journey myself,” says Alex. “Making it into a fundraiser for my town gives me all the more enthusiasm.”

Hugh, 48, has been a volunteer firefighter with the town of Penobscot for more than15 years, serving at different times as Training Officer and Lieutenant. Alex, 20, is a college student and recent addition to the company. This trip will be a great opportunity to help the town and the fire station, while giving father and son an adventure of a lifetime.

The trip is approximately 3,500 miles long and the team is looking for pledges/donations for each mile they ride:

1 penny per mile = $35.00

5 cents per mile = $175.00

10 cents per mile = $350.00

25 cents per mile = $875.00

$1 = $3,500

There are two ways to donate:

1) Checks mailed directly to the fire department with “BIKE TRIP” in the memo line.

The mailing address is:

Penobscot Volunteer Fire Company

Attn: Treasurer

P.O. Box 20

Penobscot, ME 04476

2) Gofundme online is also a good way of donating. Gofundme can be accessed through the link below or on their Facebook page.

FINE PRINT: 90 percent to truck, 10 percent to cost of trip. 100 percent to truck when trip is paid for.

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