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Canaan Fire makes fundraising appeal

NORTH CANAAN — In keeping with tradition, the Canaan Fire Company’s annual appeal was recently mailed to households in North Canaan and East Canaan asking residents to be generous with their support for the all-volunteer fire company.

Historically, the February appeal follows the election of officers in January and in years past, residents were invited to purchase tickets to the annual Washington’s Birthday Ball that would also benefit the fire company. In more recent years the fundraising ball was eliminated.

“It was quite an event back in the day,” said Maribeth Marchi, fire company secretary, commenting on the years when the ball was held as a benefit for the fire company. Residents would purchase tickets for the ball and would often enclose generous additional donations for the department.

This year’s letter, jointly signed by newly elected Chief Michael Foley and President Steven Hutchins, indicates that every dollar received is invested in the fire company, purchasing essential equipment and providing for community outreach programs.

During an interview on Saturday, Feb. 4, Hutchins provided information about the relationship between the town’s budgeted support for the fire company ($86,000 in total) and this appeal. Each has its focus.

“The fire company’s expenses are much greater than the town budget figure,” Hutchins said.

The appeal is  for supplemental expenses, such as equipment that needs to be purchased or to pay into a scheduled major equipment expense.

“The people giving to the annual appeal are contributing toward those supplemental equipment expenses,” Hutchins said. Citing an example, Hutchins said that a household flashlight might cost a few dollars in a hardware store, but one built to serve the company’s emergency needs costs around $250.

A constant within the all-volunteer fire company is a need for volunteers. “We’re always looking for new members,” Hutchins said.

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