Recently, I attended a fundraiser for the local volunteer fire department in my hometown of Wayside, WI. Fire Fest is a fundraiser I look forward to all year long, and this year it got me thinking about the benefits of just attending it.
For the Wayside Fire Department, Fire Fest is their largest fundraiser of the year. Meaning without people’s attendance, they would not have the funds to maintain the fire trucks, equipment, and gear. In the past, these proceeds were used to buy a new fire truck, new boots, new helmets, and new air packs. The total raised this year was over $20,000 (almost double their yearly average), and they plan to use this money to purchase new hoses and nozzles for the fire trucks. This increase in profits is due to the increase in the number of businesses that donate and sponsor the event through their raffles.
Everyone working this event is either a volunteer firefighter for the department or a spouse/family member. That means that of the 29 active members, it is up to them and their families to run this event. Thankfully, they have always done a great job at this, but there are other organizations that do not have this kind of luxury. As a member of the community, we should support the organizations that give so much back to us. Can you imagine what would happen if the volunteer fire departments of small towns and communities were not able to be first responders to accidents and put out fires because they did not have the funds? In the case of Wayside, the nearest municipal fire department is in Green Bay, 30 minutes away. What would happen if you get in a car accident and it takes 30 minutes for a first responder to reach you? We may overlook these things and only think of them when we need them most, but without our help, these selfless organizations could not exist.
So, participate in your community. All it takes is attendance from people to make a big difference. As college students, we should be volunteering! Some degrees require volunteer hours, whereas being able to put all of your volunteer work on resumes and grad school applications will make you stand out to anyone. And if that wasn’t enough, the personal gratification you receive should make every second worth it. I became a Big Sister at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fond du Lac County in April 2021. I’ve been able to help someone that needed a “big sister” and be able to give them a connection that they may have been lacking. I also volunteered at the Classic Car Show they had over the summer, where all of the proceeds go towards funding the program and events for the members. Non-profit organizations like BBBS need people so much and offer various ways to get involved. But if that isn’t something you are interested in, I have included a list of upcoming events/fundraisers in the Fond du Lac community along with organizations you can volunteer at.
Tour the Town Art Walk – Gallery Night – Oct. 8, 2021
First Annual Apple Treat Walk – Oct. 9, 2021
Friends of the Fond du Lac Senior Center Annual Fall Social and Raffle Drawing – Oct. 13, 2021
Halloweenie 0.5K – Oct. 28, 2021
6th Annual Forest Mount Cemetery Walk – Oct. 30, 2021
Holiday Wonder Art & Craft Expo – Nov. 6, 2021
Harvesting Hope – Nov. 10, 2021
Waupun’s Winter Wonderland – Nov. 19-21, 2021
Festival Food’s Turkey Trot – Nov. 25, 2021
Can’t Depend On Snow – Dec. 11, 2021
Boundaries Bash 2022 – Feb. 11-12, 2022
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fond du Lac County
Boys and Girls Club of Fond du Lac
Habitat for Humanity of Fond du Lac County
Fishing Has No Boundaries Fond du Lac Chapter
Friends of the Fond du Lac Senior Center
Fond du Lac Human Society