Special to the Nor’Wester
Things are usually pretty quiet in and around the Springdale Town Hall on a Sunday but that wasn’t the case this past Sunday. The Springdale Fire Department held a telethon fundraiser which was televised on the Community Channel live from Town Hall. The purpose of the fundraiser was to raise money for a new truck. This new vehicle will serve as a support unit for the Fire Department transporting fire fighters to and from calls, as well as carrying special equipment which can’t fit into the pumper or rescue trucks.
The telethon took place between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. during which time the parking lot of the town hall was like a drive thru at a coffee shop with people dropping by with donations and firefighters coming and going picking up pledges and delivering receipts. Inside it was wall to wall people of volunteers, special guests, production and camera crews and telephones ringing off the hook. Television coverage was made possible by volunteer Wayne Wellman and his crew from The Community Channel and the telephone system was generously provided by Bell Aliant.
The show was hosted by Fire Chief Rennie Normore and co-hosted by former retired Fire Chief Joe Wells. There were many special guests during the telethon, some who shared stories, some who entertained and others who made special donations. The fundraiser started off with a bang with a very generous donation from the Springdale Lions Club of $10,000 presented by President Rick Goudy and upcoming President Ernest Paddock. There were many other major contributors from various community organizations and local businesses.
Viewers of the show were treated to a variety of entertainment from local musicians and singers, some of which were Nolan Newbury, Phil Matthews, and Norma Andrews. Chris Morgan of Springdale dropped by to chat with the host about his personal experiences with the fire department. Just last year he had a fire at his home so he knows the importance of supporting the local fire department. Pastor Foster of the Springdale Pentecostal Church made an appearance on camera to speak on behalf of all the churches of the community.
The telephones were manned by members of the Springdale Fire Department and joining them were many special guests and volunteers. MHA Kevin Pollard shared a few words on camera before taking his turn on the phones taking pledges. Mayor of Springdale, Harvey Tizzard and Rick Goudy also spent time answering calls.
Its not only the generous pledges that made the telethon such a huge success, but all the hard work of the volunteers behind the scenes. The wives of the fire fighters, along with Harvey Tizzard, Rick LeDrew and other members of the Springdale Town Council, and many others dedicated their day to the cause. They recorded, sorted, collected and wrote out receipts for every donation received. Then the members of the fire department physically collected the pledges and delivered receipts to all the people who donated in the Green Bay area. One volunteer was dedicated solely to collecting donations coming in by email. Rennie said that much of the telethon’s success was due to social media. They started using Facebook and Twitter to promote the event about two months ago and they received donations from people all over Canada by email, some of whom were watching the event live stream.
As of 5 p.m. on Sunday The Fire Department had $36,000 plus in pledges, and donations were still coming in on Monday. Fire Chief Rennie was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from Springdale and surrounding communities. He said that the success of the fundraiser wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of all the volunteers, and the generous donations of community organizations, businesses and residents of the Green Bay area. He would like to thank everyone who contributed to the telethon. He also expressed how much it meant to have Joe Wells co-hosting the show with him. Being a veteran fire fighter with more than 30 years experience, Joe contributed a lot to the show.