While Oct. 5 kicked off a busy weekend in Reedsburg, it didn’t stop anyone from attending the fire department’s annual fall fundraiser.

Along with Fermentation Fest and the Hill and Valley Exploration Tour, the fire department hosted its annual Harvest Fest chili lunch and craft fair Oct. 5. Fire Chief Craig Douglas said this year’s event raised approximately $8,000 for new equipment purchases, the same amount usually raised every year.

Reedsburg fire department to host chili fundraiser Oct .6

It’s one of two fundraising events the fire department hosts every year to raise money and help offset the cost of equipment purchases. Its annual spaghetti supper in the spring raises about $13,000 a year. The next spaghetti supper fundraiser is April 28, 2020.

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The craft fair inside the fire station was filed to capacity with 45 vendors selling items like home décor, food and handmade knitted items for attendees to purchase. Vendors paid a fee to host a spot at the craft fair while the chili lunch came with a donation.

The 41 members of the fire department volunteered serving the chili and hot dog lunch inside the Reedsburg Recreation Center, located next door to the fire station.

Captain Matt Gawronski said about 84 gallons of chili were made for the event and it “pretty much finishes” the chili by the end. Fire Chief Craig Douglas said there was still “a few extra gallons” left by the events end.

Gawronski, a member of the fire department and committee member for the fundraiser, said money raised from the fall and spring fundraisers helped purchased a brush truck for fighting tree fires, rescue boats and extrication tools. He said fundraising dollars also helped purchase a new rescue ATV last year, splitting the costs with the police department.

Douglas said the department doesn’t know what the money will be used for this year, but will being looking into it soon.

Reedsburg resident Charlie Brumer attended the lunch and craft fair with his wife, Ashley, and one-year-old son Peter. It’s something the family said they do every year to support the community and a chance to see the firefighters.

“Otherwise you don’t see them on a regular basis,” Charlie Brumer said.

Additional pictures from Harvestfest craft fair and chili lunch are on our website www.reedsburgtimespress.com.

Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.

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