After holding a fundraising ball for nearly 26 years, the Britannia Fire Department may have to cancel this year’s event. A lack of sponsors is threatening the event scheduled for April 13 which recognizes the dedication of their members. Deputy Chief of the Britannia Fire Department, Aaron Buckingham, says that over the years the event has done more than recognize the service of their firefighters.
“We decided we wanted to try and support local charities within our area. So every year, for the last at least 15, we have been doing the ball, and all the money raised doesn’t go to the fire department. It goes to local charities, it’s gone to families in need, lots of people who had nowhere else to turn for help,” says Buckingham.
The event has until January 21 to confirm sponsors for this year. The ball still has a need for a title sponsor, dinner sponsor, entertainment sponsor and other sponsorship roles to help support the evening of fundraising. Many sponsors also receive tickets to the event, however, Buckingham says the popularity of fundraiser balls is making it harder to find sponsors each year.
“They’re all great charities that do these events, but it does make some difficulties finding sponsorships year-over-year. We’re certainly short of sponsors this year, and if we don’t get that rectified by the twenty-first of January, we will have to cancel the event.”
The event supports a scholarship for community-minded students in Hillmond and supporting Hillmond Central School. Buckingham says the rest of the money raised is put aside for a time when it’s needed, instead of earmarked for a specific cause.
“We want to make sure we have it there in a time of need. A little bit of it even could be if we had a devastating house fire where a family lost everything they had. If that money is sitting there we could do something to help kick-start them, find a place to stay in the interim and help them get back on their feet.”
Buckingham says that there are other ways people can help ensure the ball can run. Committee members can volunteer their time to help organize the event. Ticket sales and event setup are also roles that volunteers can help with. Buckingham says the event also appreciates members of the Britannia Fire Department, and it’s nice for them to have some time off to enjoy it.
“On the one hand, it is nice to celebrate the achievements as well. So anybody that wants to help so that all of my members don’t have to do all of the work that night is an okay thing as well.”