Close to 250 people packed into the Devlin Hall on Saturday to enjoy a spaghetti dinner and help the La Vallee Fire Department raise money to upgrade and purchase firefighting equipment.
Through hosting the event the fire department was able to raise $1,700 but the Chapple, Emo, La Vallee, and Alberton Fire Chief Josh Colling said the dinner is primarily held for community engagement.
When the fire department held its first spaghetti dinner in 2017, the cost per ticket was a little higher and the purpose of the fundraiser was to purchase a much needed breathing apparatuses that the firefighters wear while fighting fires.
“They needed to modernize it to provide a certain level of service to the community,” Chief Colling explained.
This year the dinner was offered at a much lower price point and meant to provide the community with a fun event where they can learn a little bit about their local fire department while enjoying a good meal.
“It's more volunteers giving back and engaging with the community,” Chief Colling said.
It's also important to note, organizers of the event has expanded its public education this year, with a training video on display through the duration of the event.
The dinner meanwhile, was made possible with the help of many sponsors who covered the food costs and rental of the Devlin Hall.
Sunset Protection Systems, Cornell Farms, McDonald's Restaurant, Safeway, Cloverleaf Grocery, Ken McKinnon, Thunder Rock Farms, and the Flint House all donated to the event to help put it on.
Chief Colling attributes part of the event's success to the warm weather on Saturday, that followed a heavy snowfall, starting Thursday through Friday.
He enjoys many different aspects of hosting the spaghetti dinner but said seeing the community join together and reconnect makes it all worthwhile.
“My favourite part is the community of engagement and seeing the smiles,” Chief Colling remarked.
“The kids have a great time, people get to interact with each other, and they might get to see some people they haven't seen for a year,” he added.
Chief Colling would like to thank all of the sponsors and the volunteer firefighters, their spouses, families, and friends who helped to host the event.
“Without them it wouldn't happen and without our sponsors we wouldn't be able to do it for that price,” he lauded.
Chief Colling also noted that the La Vallee volunteer fire department is in need of volunteers and the 2019 recruitment dates will be announced shortly.