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Fire company raises big funds at Sportsman’s Bash

By Staff | Nov 16, 2018

Over 1,000 individuals attended Shepherdstown Fire Department's annual Sportsman's Bash on Nov.10. Photo by Toni Milbourne.

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The annual Sportsman’s Bash hosted as a fundraising endeavor by the Shepherdstown Fire Department did not disappoint the attendees or those hosting the event. Held on Saturday, the bash served as one of the largest fundraisers of the year for the department.

“It could be the largest fundraiser,” said company President Craig “Twiggy” Simpson. “It certainly is close in labor intensity to the apple butter fundraiser.”

The bash, which offered ticket holders an opportunity to take home prizes including cash and guns, also featured all-you-can-eat wings, sides, beer and sodas. The wings, prepared by Scott Lanham, were cooked three times once in the oven, once on the grill and then in the deep fryer, Simpson said. Offered with a variety of sauces and spices including teriyaki, Parmesan and spicy hot, the 2,400 pounds of wings prepared were enjoyed by all.

Throughout the afternoon, ticket numbers were drawn on the quarter hour for the large prizes including the cash and guns.

Individuals enjoying the games of chance could also participate in tip jars and other games, to line their pockets with a little cash. After the event, a total of 275 tip jars or other games of chance were played, according to Simpson.

The department members worked hard to sell all 1,750 possible tickets to the event. Ticket holders did not have to be present to win and some did not come to participate. However, Simpson said that 1,084 individuals did come into the station throughout the afternoon. Ninety-three volunteers helped make the event a success before they took time to enjoy themselves.

“We try to put on a good thing for people to enjoy coming to,” Simpson said of the annual fundraiser. “We’ve been very fortunate to have had no issues at any of the events. It’s just a good time.”

The company serves the community on a volunteer basis and must raise significant funds to pay for operations and purchase of equipment. While the county and state contribute to the coffers, the volunteers work year-round to raise funds to help. Simpson said that while a finally tally of the take from Saturday’s event is not available, the estimated profit after purchasing the giveaways, food and other necessities for event, the company should be around $30,000. Those funds will be deposited into the company’s general fund to help day to day operations of the company as well as helping to reduce debt.

The fire department’s volunteers will host the bonfire at the town’s tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 23, where young and old can enjoy making s’mores. They will then offer the annual Christmas dinner at the fire station on Dec. 2, from noon to 3 p.m. The dinner serves as a “thank you” to the community and all are invited to attend. Donation are welcome, but not required to attend.