2009-07-09 / Local & State

MVFC Launches Newest Building Fundraiser

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

The McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. has kicked off its mortgage-burning campaign to reduce, if not eliminate, the debt accrued during the 2006 construction of their new equipment building pictured above right. COURTESY PHOTO The McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. has kicked off its mortgage-burning campaign to reduce, if not eliminate, the debt accrued during the 2006 construction of their new equipment building pictured above right. COURTESY PHOTO Nearly $500,000 in the red, the McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. has launched its newest fundraiser to reduce the deficit accrued during the recent construction of a larger and more modernized equipment building.

Letters have been mailed to the community announcing the fire company's project that will hopefully, in turn, reduce the money currently owed on the newer facility that was constructed back in 2006. In their announcement company officials stated, "At that time a minifund drive was conducted with a few supporters giving a large amount of money for the new building. Of course there were numerous folks giving smaller gifts. All gifts were appreciated but the bottom line is there was not enough ..."

In speaking with the "News," McConnellsburg Fire Chief Pete Lynch said even with today's economic hardships, the company is still hoping it can continue to rely on local residents as well as business owners for assistance. Beginning this week business owners will be visited personally by company officials to garner support.

"Everyone has been extremely generous in the past," said Lynch, who added their goal is to raise enough funding to burn the mortgage on the equipment building. Gifts ranging from $5 to $5,000 are being accepted.

The company does not receive any taxes and is primarily funded through a variety of activities ranging from twice-week- ly bingos, once-monthly basket bingos, food stands, raffles, demolition derbies and pulls. Meanwhile, the purpose of the fund drive, conducted annually, is to reduce equipment debt service.

Even the company's ALS medic unit does not receive tax assistance and is funded entirely through billing. The service, according to Lynch, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary and is manned by three full-time and three part-time paramedics.

"The system runs 24/7 at no expense to the taxpayers," he said. The medic unit responded to a total of 510 calls last year, while the fire and ambulance units were dispatched to a total of 213 and 882 calls, respectively.

Lynch noted in addition to the mortgage-burning campaign, which was created in part due to suggestions by and assistance from McConnellsburg area resident Helen Overly, other issues needing addressed include at least one new ambulance for the company's fleet and a new electric ambulance stretcher. Looking ahead to the future, renovations will likely be needed at the old firehall that also serves as an emergency shelter for the Central Fulton School District and Fulton County Medical Center.

Any residents or businesses wishing to make a donation toward the mortgage-burning campaign is asked to make their check payable to the Mc- Connellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. Building Fund and mail to P.O. Box 724, McConnellsburg, PA 17233. The check memo should be marked "fund drive."'

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