This week we finally got our first taste of Spring weather and July and August seem like a lifetime away. Yet, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department is already working on making sure that its annual major fundraiser — the Firemen’s Carnival — is a huge success in 2015.
You may recall that the all-volunteer fire department took a big hit last year due to the change in which raffle tickets were sold in advance. For years, residents were accustomed to receiving ticket books in the mail, then they would fill them out and mail a check along with the ticket stubs and the fire department thrived.
But last year the postal service informed the firefighters that they could no longer sell tickets through the mail and sales plummeted. On opening night 2014 there was a $38,000 deficit in ticket sales from the previous year.
Early in the Summer, the fire department sent out a letter explaining the dilemma, they also set up several convenient locations around town for people to pick up tickets.
It seemed that just about everywhere you looked there was a firefighter sitting at a table out side the firehouse, stores, etc. ready to sell tickets. Many took time on their days off from their regular jobs and after work to go door-to-door.
At homes, they often heard, “Oh, I got mine in the mail.” The fact of the matter is, residents received a letter from the fire department, but no tickets.
This year will be no different, the push to sell raffle tickets will begin early and with any luck, it will be more successful this time around.
After last year’s dramatic loss was revealed some residents offered suggestions, most involved the idea of online ticket sales and paying through PayPal — The OVFD was told that this also would not be allowed.
The daughter of one longtime firefighter even started a Orange Volunteer Firemen’s Carnival Facebook page in an effort to help. Residents are urged to “Like” the page where important information regarding the carnival will be posted.
Remember when you support the Orange Volunteer Fire Department you also are helping the community, because the funds they raise from the raffle ticket sales are used to purchase new equipment and pay for training costs.
This year’s carnival takes place on the Orange Fairgrounds July 30, 31, August 1 and 2 with fireworks Friday and Saturday nights.