TOWN OF LEE — The Lee Center Volunteer Fire Department has launched its annual fund drive by mail, and again hopes to raise about $14,000 or more to help with various expenses, department President William Baker said Tuesday.
The drive included about 2,600 letters being mailed to town addresses along with a stamped and addressed envelope that people can use to mail in donations.
The fundraising campaign does not involve door-to-door or telephone soliciting, the company president said.
Among uses planned for the money raised, said Baker, are to buy some additional equipment for an upcoming new mini-pumper firefighting vehicle that is being purchased for the department by the taxpayer-funded Town of Lee Fire District.
Some of the funding raised in the prior 2018 drive also was used to buy new and updated equipment for the new vehicle, according to the latest fund drive letter.
Such uses of the fund drive money helps “offset costs for taxpayers” regarding the new vehicle, said Baker.
The equipment for the vehicle can include such items as hand tools, couplings, adaptors and brackets to hold tools, he explained.
Other uses for the funding raised will include helping with everyday operating expenses for the fire department, Baker added.
A $256,000 purchase of the new mini-pumper, to replace a current vehicle, was approved last December by the town Board of Fire Commissioners. The vehicle is expected to arrive by the end of the year.
The fund drive letter’s reference to the fire department buying equipment for the new mini-pumper was praised by board Chairman Patrick Hetherington during the fire commissioners’ meeting Monday night.
Hetherington said he was enthused about that reference, adding it shows the community the “partnership” of the fire department and fire commissioners working together. “Thank you for that in the...newsletter,” he told department members at the meeting. Commissioners oversee the department as part of managing fire protection in the town fire district.
The fund drive is the Lee Center fire department’s biggest fundraiser, said Baker, while a bingo program and some raffles also are conducted to help raise money.
The fire department responded to 385 calls of alarm in 2018, said the fund drive letter.