January 19th, 2021

Firefighters going online for annual fundraiser


By Dale Woodard on December 9, 2020.

Lethbridge firefighters make their way to the rooftop of Hudsons during last year's fundraising campaign. This year the Lethbridge Fire Fighters Charities Association will be moving the efforts into an online Christmas Auction. Herald file photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

It’s going to take more than a pandemic to put out the Lethbridge Fire Fighters Charities Association’s Christmas Auction.
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way the LFFCA is approaching its annual fundraiser, but the bidding is nonetheless underway and started on Monday with the first Christmas Online Auction.
This year’s proceeds — with a goal of raising $10,000 — will go to the Lethbridge Family Services Angel Tree Christmas Campaign and Blankets for Seniors.
“Every year we do a firefighter calendar and (this year) we didn’t think that would be feasible, so one of our members came up with the idea of doing an online auction to allow us to provide funds to the Lethbridge Family Services Angel Christmas Tree Campaign,” said Andrew Houthuys, a paramedic firefighter and president of the Lethbridge Fire Fighters Charities Association. “We also have the annual event where we buy blankets. We pick a seniors home in town and we buy blankets for all of the residents and rotate it throughout the city.”
In previous years, the LFFCA has provided blankets for St. Michael’s Health Centre, Golden Acres Lodge and Alberta Rose Lodge.
Lethbridge Fire Department Charities is a not-for-profit organization run by members of the Lethbridge Fire Department Local 237, working to support local and worthwhile charities and relying on donations collected through fundraising events and the support of the community.
The online event came about after numerous fundraisers that were postponed or cancelled due to COVID-19, such as the Muscular Dystrophy Rooftop Campout and Calendar Night.
Bidding started Monday at 8 a.m. and early indications are the online format has taken off with many clicks of the mouse.
“It’s looking good,” said Houthuys. “I think we’re at over 40 items and we’ve got bids on at least 30 of them.”
Local merchants have gotten on board with items to bid on, ranging from clothing, dining packages and vacation getaways.
“The Water Tower has been very generous,” said Houthuys. “We have two gift cards and meal packages from the Water Tower Bar and Grill, The Telegraph Taphouse, the Picture Butte Hotel and Tavern, the Firestone and a lot of gift cards for food. Then we have a week stay at a Kimberley condo.
“We have sports jerseys, golf clubs and golf rounds at Henderson Lake Golf Club.”
The bidding goes until Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.
To place a bid, visit http://www.biddingowl.com/Auction/home.cfm?auctionID=24698.
Donations can also be made via PayPal, debit or credit card.
“I think a lot of people have gone through hardships with COVID and we thought we had to figure out a way to help some families that need it,” said Houthuys.

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