By Jan Rahn
On Jan. 2, the Grant Volunteer Fire Department became the fortunate recipient of several thousand dollars from the community as appreciation for their service.
A basketball shootout sponsored by the Grant Lions Club and supported by other community organizations raised $11,515 in cash donations and pledges which was presented to Grant Fire Chief Don Softley last week.
Ron Patrick, 1st Vice District Governor of Lions, and Mike Long, Zone B3 chair, gave Softley several large manila envelopes containing the cash, checks and pledges raised on Dec. 20 during the halftime shootout held during the game against Ogallala.
“What an awesome community event the Lions put together,” said Softley. “It’s humbling to see people give financially like this. The department deeply appreciates the outpouring of support.”
Patrick is among many in the community who has benefited from the fire department’s selfless acts.
“Many of us have been affected in positive ways by your department—it’s a life-saving organization,” Patrick told Softley last Thursday morning.
Concurring, Long said, “We’ve all been affected—it’s great to have them.”
One of the immediate needs for the fire department is replacement of fire helmets and head protection gear, said Softley.
The helmets, which can cost $350 or more, protect the head, face, neck, eyes and ears.
There are 24 on the roster at the fire department, nine of whom are also EMTs.
The fundraising event brought several organizations together in support of the department and its valuable service to patrons of this community and beyond.
The organization represented, the designated basketball shooter, and the total funds raised include:
Grant Rotary-John Long, $2,367; Beta Sigma Phi Sorority-Toni Wyatt, $1,146; Beta Sigma Phi Sorority-Jayson Bishop $777; American Legion-Mike Mayer, $206; Perkins County Chamber-Ryan Potts, $255; Grant Lions Club-Ivan Regier, $2,106; Grant Volunteer Fire Department-Don Softley, $4,663.