After reading about a young student raising funds for Lytton residents, two Ashcroft women decided to do their own fundraising for another group.
Susan Stager says that she and Barb Gyoba came up with the idea after reading about Michaela Aie raising funds by selling iced tea outside her home in Ashcroft.
“We thought ‘Let’s do something for the Ashcroft fire department,’” says Stager. “They were putting in so much time, and we had heard how hard they were working. Others were raising money, but it wasn’t going directly to them. Since then the Legion and others have given the Ashcroft fire department money, but at the time we weren’t aware of others who had.”
They got permission from Willow Anderson to set up a table outside Home Hardware in Ashcroft, and contacted Damian Couture — manager of the Tim Hortons at the Travel Centre — to see if he could donate some doughnuts. Thus it was that on July 28, “Doughnuts for a Donation” took place.
“I called Anne McKague, who is a neighbour of mine, and asked her to put the event on Facebook,” says Stager. “It was just a perfect day, and the doughnuts — which were all donated by Tim Hortons — were a big hit. We had lots of donations, raising more than $500, so it worked out really well.”
At a meeting with Ashcroft’s Acting Fire Chief Josh White at the fire hall, the funds were presented. “He gave us a tour of the fire hall, which was very interesting,” says Stager, who thanks everyone who stopped by their table, had a doughnut, and left a donation.
For his part, White also has a huge thank you for everyone involved in what he calls a “very pleasant surprise”. He adds that the department hasn’t yet decided exactly what the funds will be used for.
“The Legion has helped with donations for rescue equipment, and we haven’t decided if these funds will go toward that. We have fire hall renovations coming up, but furniture isn’t covered, and we’re looking at the potential of having cots for firefighters to sleep on at the hall during these long events where people are at the hall all the time. During large-scale events, the hall is manned 24/7.”
White says that while they try to purchase big pieces of equipment through the village budget, smaller items can sometimes get overlooked, even though they still have costs associated with them.
“This is where our association can step up and use donations. It gives us a bit more freedom to get these things, and it’s a helping hand in a different way: when we get a donation, the association tries to make sure it goes back to the fire hall to keep costs down for the taxpayer.”