By Jeffery Heyden-Kaye
If you decided at the last minute you wanted to golf at the Ponoka Community Gold Club to raise funds for the Ponoka Fire Department (PFD) and help buy a new rescue truck you would have been added to a long waiting list.
On Sept. 9, 144 golfers joined the fire department in their efforts to reach their goal. The day started with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 10 a.m.
This is the second year the PFD has raised funds for the truck and the community has responded in full force, according to Ken Kraft, one of the volunteer firefighters involved with the fundraising.
“We are doing great. We figured in five years we could get it, and we hope after this year we will have it.“
The goal is to have raised enough money for the rescue truck in five years, but local businesses and individuals have done their part to help the fire department.
The town and the county have contributed tax dollars toward the new truck and the PFD is fundraising $100,000 for the $300,000 truck, according to Kraft, who said support has been awesome. “We are getting such backing from the community. It’s just incredible how much they appreciate what we do out there.”
“We owe everything to the community, and to all the business that donated $1,000 per hole and all the prizes that go along with it,” said Kelly Moore, one of the organizers of the event. The golf course donated the green fees and the carts.
There were three other challenges along the course to entice fundraisers: a long putt, a chip onto the green, and a chip into the water tank. A $5 donation could get a golfer three gold balls for each challenge and successful players would put their names in a draw for a chance to win a prize. Kraft said prizes were donated by local businesses and some of the wholesalers they buy equipment from.
“It’s a volunteer fire department, that’s the key. They need to stay updated with their equipment,” Dan Lee of Ponoka Fertilizer said.
The volunteer fire department is serious about the fundraising explained Moor and they are closer than they expected thanks to the community, firefighters, their wives and all the hours put in to make the event successful.