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Firefighters cook up fun at annual fundraising picnic

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ST. IGNATIUS — The St. Ignatius Firefighters annual fundraising picnic and auction took place for the 26th year on Saturday, June 15, at Old Town Field from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to St. Ignatius Fire Chief Paul Adams, the goal for their annual fundraising picnic is to “beat it out of the park” from the previous year. Every year produces different results and Adams said last year “they knocked it out of the park, but the previous year was a dud.” Typical funds raised come in at approximately $30,000.

The St. Ignatius Rural Fire Department owns the trucks but the Auxiliary raises money for personal protective gear called turnouts that cost $8,000 a set and SCBA equipment (self-contained breathing apparatus) that costs $9,000 each.

While the firefighters did the cooking, the Firefighter Auxiliary puts together the live and silent auctions. Auctioneer Travis Jeppesen provides the live auction calling which this year included three guns: a diamond back, side kick pistol that has two cylinders, a 22 long rifle and a 22 mag; a Mossberg 7MM rifle with a scope (kid size), and a 22-guage C2 shotgun. Other live auction items included a 4-cord dump truck of firewood courtesy of Hunt’s Timbers Inc., a custom made fire pit by St. Ignatius High School welding instructor Matthew Young, a handmade rooster weathervane from Kefler Lighting Protection, and a beautiful, donated leather coach. Glacier Park posters and Ninepipes gift certificates were some of the silent auction items. Raffle items included a whole hog cut and wrapped from D & J Meats; two $250 gift certificates from Rod’s Harvest Foods; and ½ a beef from Kurt McPherson. 

Chief Adams said the fire department is always open to monetary or donated items after the annual picnic event. He explained items will be stored until the following year.

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