WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)–Volunteer fire departments often rely on donations or fundraisers to keep up with the best gear and equipment.
Bully’s Grill was busy Sunday and a lot of that had to do with the delicious smell of chili and steak.
That’s because the Bowman Volunteer Fire Department was raising money through a cook-off.
“We just need a little bit of a financial boost wherever we can get it to get equipment back to where it needs to be and to improve our capabilities,” Bowman VFD Fire Chief John Strenski said.
The VFD receives about $7,000 each year. However, it doesn’t go towards gear or equipment upgrades.
“That’s the money that goes in for fuel, for tires to keep the truck up,” Strenski said. “So any kind of upgrade that we need to do, that’s where the fundraising goes.”
It’ll also go toward paying for equipment for new team members.
“With us bringing new members on, we are literally out of gear, we don’t have any new gear to give the guys so events like this will allow us to purchase new gear to put new folks into,” Strenski said.
Bully’s employees and volunteer firefighters judged steak and chili entries. Proceeds not only come from the cook-off, but also from Bully’s Grill donations.
“We did the little tasting cups for three dollars and people bought those and everyone tasted the chili and the steak and then we’re donating some of the proceeds for the sales of our beverages and food and also the entry fee,” Bully’s Grill owner Rick Shouse said.
The fire department’s annual haunted hay-ride benefit event was canceled last year due to weather. So, this year’s cook-off is helping them prepare for what could be a difficult fire season.
“We’re probably gonna have a really tough grass season, the wildfire season that we’re looking at is probably going to be pretty close to historic if you take a look at the fuel loads out there,” Strenski said.
With potential for a historic season, the Bowman Volunteer Fire Department appreciates any help they can get.
The fire department also put out tip jars and sold t-shirts, helping bring in as much funding as possible.
For information on how you can benefit the VFD click here.