The third fundraiser golf tournament for the Ponoka Fire Department (PFD) is in the cup. Businesses and individuals did their part to help firefighters raise money for a new rescue truck.
Tickets for the Sept. 7 fundraiser at the Ponoka Golf Club sold out almost immediately, explained deputy chief and organizer Kelsey Hycha. “We always get good support from the community…I think it’s just because everyone in the department is community involved.”
The cost of a new rescue truck is approximately $250,000 to $300,000 “depending on how we outfit it,” and approximately $50,000 to $55,000 has been raised so far.
The current rescue truck is a 1994 Chevy one-ton and is getting small for the amount of rescue equipment needed to attend an emergency.
The shotgun start brought 144 golfers to the tournament and company sponsors of many of the holes along the course. Along the way there were three challenges; a long putt, those who made the putt were entered to win a widescreen TV; a chip-in into a fire pit, lucky contenders were entered to win a John Deere lawnmower and a customized fire pit with the PFD emblem; and a chip into a fire line, those who made it were entered to win a Weed Eater.
Hycha was grateful for the support from participants. “Every year we have had this we have had nice weather. Everyone seems to have fun.”
Golfer, Pete Hall, feels the money is going to a worthy cause. “It’s a good charity day, it’s fun, and a good event for the community really.”
Green fees were paid for by the golf course as well, explained Hall, who is on the club’s executive.
Another participant, Tim Corkery, enjoyed coming out to support the PFD. “We’re very fortunate to have the dedicated department that we have.”
Fire Chief Ted Dillon said it was the volunteer firefighters who organized the day.
“It’s a great day and the guys have done a heck of a job organizing again,” stated Dillon.
His greatest hope is to keep the community safe. “We hope we provide excellent service.”
Coun. Loanna Gulka was there to support the team.
“I’m so proud and happy to see everyone support our fire department,” she stated.
Actual numbers for the fundraiser were not in at press time, but Hycha said they average about $17,000 a tournament.