BBQ fundraiser helps keep fire station operational

item file photoJohn Jennings and Terry Burkett prepare the sausage links for the Thomas Lake Road Volunteer Fire Department annual barbecue last year

The Thomas Lake Road Volunteer Fire Department is the first line of defense for those living in the community of less than 500 in northern Walker County. Fundraising and community support are crucial for these organizations to keep communities safe.

“Without these fundraisers, we would not be here,” Donahue said. “This allows the firefighters to get the equipment they need to keep our community safe.”

Thomas Lake VFD was founded in 1982 to ensure that the community had its emergency and fire needs satisfied. VFDs like these handle everything from medical treatment to firefighting, along with search and rescue operations.

“Our VFD are not only firefighters, they are our first responders and EMS,” Donahue said. “Living in a small community, most of us are on an island and we would be lost without them. They not only help us, but also throughout Walker and surrounding counties.”

The VFD is hosting its annual Labor Day Barbecue Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to raise funds for the department. Attendees will have the option of brisket, chicken and sausage in addition to sides and a cake auction to be held at noon.

“We have held the annual Labor Day barbecue for over 20 years,” VFD vice president Sandy Donahue said. “We also have several events throughout the year in order to support our local heroes.”

Admission is $12 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children 5-and-under. Beginning at 1 p.m., attendees can purchase meat by the pound for $20. All proceeds will go toward raising money for the fire department, which is largely funded by community contributions.

“We are expecting around 300 attendees this year,” Donahue added. “We are always hoping to sell out and help out our neighbors as best we can.”

Thomas Lake VFD is located at 46 Thomas Lake Road near Riverside.

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