Each March, the Kempner volunteer fire department’s auction and barbecue raises necessary funds to help run a fire station that depends heavily on community donations to function.
This year’s fundraiser held Saturday was for much-needed firefighter gear.
A similar event is hosted in October by the Oakalla volunteer fire department in Lampasas. Both events have one thing in common — pies.
“One of the auctions at Oakalla is a pie and bidders have paid $300 for it and then resubmitted it for auction again to raise funds,” said Amy Mainville, the wife of Kempner’s assistant chief. “It’s tradition around here. And when it’s our turn, they come down here and do the same thing with another pie.”
“It’s one of the best parts of the auction and folks love it,” said Alan Mainville, who also works full-time as a firefighter with the Copperas Cove Fire Department.
Since he joined the Kempner fire department as a volunteer nine years ago, his wife, Amy, and her mother attended and worked as volunteers at the auction.
“People come from Cove, Killeen and Lampasas to participate,” said Amy Mainville, a teacher at Copperas Cove Junior High. “Every year, too, we have different stuff. One year we even auctioned off a cow. The guys from A&E’s ‘Texas Storage Wars’ also stop by and bid on stuff.”
Amy Mainville said being a firefighter is her husband’s calling.
“We are both public servants and are all about community,” she said.