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Scene: Firing up the pit for a good cause

By JR Ortega
May 7, 2014 at 12:07 a.m.

Firefighters at the scene of a fire at Lawrence Furniture Company in Victoria in April 2013. The Raisin Volunteer Fire Department is having its annual barbecue Saturday to raise money for the department.

IF YOU GO

• WHAT: Raisin Volunteer Fire Department annual barbecue, auction and raffle

• WHEN: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

• WHERE: Martin Luther Lutheran Church, 2535 Coletoville Road

• COST: $8 either beef or chicken plates with fixings

• INFO: Contact Wesley Schmidt at 361-649-3569.

It's really starting to warm up outside, so why not make the best of it.

The Raisin Volunteer Fire Department is having its annual barbecue, auction and raffle Saturday, said fire chief Wesley Schmidt.

Operating as a volunteer fire department takes a lot of manpower, money and time, and the department needs the help of the community, Schmidt said.

"We operate mostly on donations," he said.

The department has about 26 volunteers, and though it sounds like a good team, it's difficult because they each have their own jobs.

Having been around since 1967, Schmidt said the department gets better each year in terms of raising money and turnout.

The event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Martin Luther Lutheran Church, will have beef or chicken plates with all the fixings for either dine-in or to-go. Plates are $8, and the auction begins at 12:30 p.m. Tickets for the raffle are $1.

Money raised helps the department with operating expenses and to purchase new equipment.

Schmidt hopes to sell anywhere from 1,200 to 1,400 plates.

Working in a newsroom, I've heard how many calls Raisin and other area volunteer fire departments go out on, and the support is definitely needed.

Many times, the first responders are these volunteers, who are donating time, effort and care out of their busy schedules to help others.

People seem to know this already, Schmidt said, but it's nice to gently remind the community how important these volunteers are, he said.

"We've always had a very good response to the community and support," he said.

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