With over 25 local craft vendors and around 15 food vendors, the Lower Burrell Volunteer Fire Company No. 3 Food Truck Gathering and Vendor Show was aimed at raising money for the firehouse refurbishment. firefighters.
The event, which they held at the fire station on Saturday afternoon, gave vendors the opportunity to showcase their wares while helping firefighters fund projects such as painting the building, working on the roof and repaving of the parking lot.
The fire hall has not had a renovation in 26 years, according to Deputy Chief Brennan Sites. Ongoing renovations will likely cost the department between $ 60,000 and $ 80,000 – a cost borne by events like this.
Deputy Chief Brennan Sites said Lower Burrell Volunteer Fire Company No.3 is expecting around 15 food vendors and more than 25 craft vendors today at their food truck rally and vendor display. , which will continue until 6 p.m. in their fire station. pic.twitter.com/Q5c2ugIDJX
– Julia Felton (@ JuliaFelton16) October 9, 2021
While fundraising is important, Sites said the fire department is also keen to build meaningful community relationships with events such as the Vendor Show and the Food Truck Gathering. They hold several similar events each year, he said, inviting the public to interact with them and see the fire station and its renovations.
“They can see their fundraising money at work,” he said.
Firefighters mingled with vendors and visitors, which the sites said means a lot to them.
“We want them to meet us on a good day, so if, God forbid, they need us on the worst day of their lives, they know us,” he said.
Vendors set up tables inside the fire station and in a tent outside, with food trucks parked behind the buildings.
All of the vendors were local and their products ranged from honey and tea to homemade jewelry and Halloween decorations.
“I think if you support the vendors, you help support their families,” said Erin Shaffer of Leechburg, who sold handmade earrings, necklaces and bracelets.
She started making homemade jewelry during the pandemic when she lost her job. Making jewelry gave her something to do, and selling the items at vendor fairs allowed her to earn extra money.
Plum’s Ashley Sladisky, whose homemade jewelry table featured several Halloween-themed offerings, said she too started making jewelry amid the pandemic.
“I had to find a hobby,” she said, explaining that she started making jewelry for her family and friends before seeing her new business flourish.
“It’s refreshing to be back there,” she said, adding that she had made many friends at vendor fairs like the fire department. “Doing shows like this is a feeling of community. Giving back is definitely a bonus.
Full Capacity Craft Sellers
The fire department was at full capacity for the craft vendors, said Brandy Grieff, who organized the craft vendors at the event. Her husband, Chad, is a lieutenant in the fire company. Each supplier donated $ 30 to the ministry to reserve their space.
“I just gathered a whole variety of everything under the sun,” she said.
Support for firefighters was important to James Barton of New Kensington, owner of The Hot Dog Guys, a food truck selling a range of hot dogs. He and his brother Paul said supporting local first responders is something they often aim to do by attending fundraising events.
“They are essential,” said Paul Barton. “They are the ones who are in danger for us. The men and women here are fantastic.
Other food vendors offered donuts, Chinese food, beer, and sandwiches.
John Gourley ran the Doughtastic food truck, which serves dishes like fried waffles and fried dough sandwiches, made with fried pizza dough.
“It’s a win-win,” he said of the event. “It helps us and it helps them. I think people say, “I’m going to go out and support my fire station and have something to eat. Fire stations need this local support to survive.
Community support means a lot to members of the fire department, said Dave Chelko, a member of the service who ordered food from the Wok on Wheels food truck.
“It’s vital,” he said. “If that sort of thing doesn’t happen, we don’t exist.