The Village of Big Valley was the centre of some great activity as communities from far and near came together to fundraise for the fire department with a steak supper on Saturday, Aug. 6 and pancake breakfast on Sunday, Aug. 7 at the Big Valley ball diamonds.
The Big Valley fire department went all out for their second annual event and raised $3,000 over the weekend, going as far as hosting a much larger slo-pitch tournament to draw more crowds to the community.
“(The $3,000) was the total amount raised from the steak supper, concession, and pancake breakfast,” said Chanse Stefanik, captain of the fire department and the main event organizer. “We have had nothing but positive feedback from the entire weekend from ball to the meals and concession.”
The funds raised will remain in-house and will be used for essential maintenance and other upkeep of the equipment.
“Last year the funds we raised helped push us over (our fundraising goal) and get the jaws of life into our department,” said Stefanik. “This year our aim is to use the funds for tools for our shop and to help keep our machines up and running.”
With about 165 people making it to the steak supper and around 200 people at the pancake breakfast, Stefanik was happy that they were able to get both events running smoothly. Even the 18-team slo-pitch tournament remained on schedule.
What started as a small community effort last year has grown substantially, judging by the ball diamonds and surrounding area. People were everywhere, from camping to participating in the slo-pitch.
“Any day our trucks are down, it is stressful,” Stefanik added. “Anything we can do to keep them running is a gift. Even though I was the main organizer, without the help of our department members and their spouses it would never have happened. We are very lucky to have their support and time.”
Stefanik said that they also had many people from within the community who pitched in their time to help.
“Every year is a learning curve for us, but we have no regrets,” said Stefanik. “We would love to thank our spouses, the Big Valley Stealers for helping us get the diamonds ready for a crazy ball playing weekend, and Val Erikson for helping us through the weekend.”
Stefanik said that he was sure he has missed many people he would like to thank, but he wanted everyone to know how appreciative they were of the support from the community and visiting ball players, too.