KEMPNER — The Kempner Volunteer Fire Department hosted about 300 people and raised nearly $15,000 at its 2013 annual barbecue and auction at the Walter L. Prugh Fire House/Community Center.
“Considering people’s uncertainty with everything that’s been going on, we were very pleased with the outcome of the event,” said Fire Chief Dewey Own.
The fundraiser came one day after President Barack Obama signed an order for immediate sequestration, which Own said he believed might hinder the department’s ability to raise funds at the event. It didn’t, though.
“We raised somewhere in the neighborhood of $15,000,” Own said.
The funds came from a box sale, an auction and barbecue dinner plates sold for $5 and $10 each.
One special item from the auction, an M1 carbine rifle from the Korean War and World War II, fetched the department $750.
Proceeds will go toward outfitting a new brush truck for the department, which it purchased earlier this year with grant funds.
“We still have to buy the equipment, but we’re about ready to make the decision on who will do the work on the truck for us,” said Bud Broeker, Kempner Volunteer Fire Department president.
The group met Monday to discuss buying the truck’s equipment.
Those who missed the event can still contribute to the department by helping prepare for next year’s fundraiser.
“Starting this week, we’ll be taking items for next year’s auction,” Own said.
The department welcomes all new and gently used items with the exception of live animals, he said.
People can drop off their donations year-round at the firehouse., 315 Pecan St. It is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.