Sarah Burns Photo
The Hinton Firefighters Association (HFA) got lucky this past weekend as the rain let up and the sun came out during their 12th Annual Car Wash for Muscular Dystrophy (MD).
The volunteer firefighters that make up the association raised rougly $6,000 in just four hours of polishing vehicles on June 22 for MD Canada.
Kids took advantage of the bouncy house and face painting and families took some time to relax and enjoy burgers.
“They were just hanging around the fire hall and the kids were just having an absolute hayday and that’s exactly what the fire department is about – community involvement,” said Lt. Adison Vidrih, president of the association.
“The reason it went so well I think was because it was raining the four days before and everyone wanted to get out and enjoy [the weather] so they came to the carwash. It was a tremendous success.”
All the money from the carwash goes towards MD Canada, and to date the association has raised $130,000 for the group.
“We really appreciate the community backing us up and helping us out. We like to try and keep the [fundraisers] in town, because the town helps out so much,” said Vidrih.
Earlier this month, the association also hosted a spaghetti dinner during seniors week in Hinton together with the Hinton Fire Department and roughly 135 people attended.
The HFA officially formed three years ago, but separately from the department, Hinton’s volunteer firefighters have worked to raise money for local charities and the department itself for much longer.
“The actual society was developed in 2016, but we’ve done a bunch of this stuff before that. The reason we developed the society was because the tax write off for the guys that want to donate to us is a bit better for them,” said Vidrih.
“Then we get bigger sponsorships and stuff like that, which really helps us out.”
The main purpose of the society is to fundraise for charities in the Hinton area and continue to raise money to help out the department with equipment that falls outside of their operating budget.
Recently, the association applied for the community grant to purchase dummies for the department, which was granted to them but later council decided that the money would be found in the budget.
“It’s not just for the fire department and fire equipment, but also for other charities, all the local groups that need assistance,” said Vidrih.
The HFA raised $8,000 during the Valentine’s Day Draw this year for the association itself, and has raised $16,000 in total this year.
“During the winter we do a lot of food bank stuff, during Christmas time we sponsor the community dinner. We do the spaghetti dinner for seniors and the spaghetti dinner for the women’s shelter. We raise money for the community firefighting program,” Vidrih listed.
Among others, they host a turkey drive for the Hinton Healthcare Foundation each year, cook for the legion, buy candy for the parades in town, help out with the fireworks, the PARTY program, and Firesmarting.
“The community is absolutely phenomenal when it comes to us doing our fundraising projects,” said Vidrih.
The association’s next project will take place on June 30 and July 1 at the Canada Day parade and fireworks.