Pictured above are the members of the Butterfield Firefighters Auxiliary who helped with the chili supper on March 7 in Butterfield. In the front row, from left to right: Afton Young, historian; Kimberly Garner, secretary; Sherry Sears, treasurer; Melissa Brophy, vice president; and Laci Lynxwiler, president. Back row: Deanna Jo Privett, Jamie Lee, Kayla Worley, Laura Ray and Allese Stubbs.
March 11, 2015
The Butterfield Firefighters Auxiliary held a chili supper on Saturday, March 7, to raise money for the Butterfield Fire Protection District. The event raised $2,852.50, which will be used to purchase equipment the firefighters need.
According to Donnie Privett, assistant chief for the Butterfield Fire Protection District, that equipment can be expensive. “A single bunker gear suit can cost up to $5,000,” he said.
The suits, which include an air mask and an oxygen tank, are worn by the firefighters when they respond to fire calls. Privett said the department responds to an average of 90 to 125 calls a year. Around 40 percent of those are for fire and the rest are medical calls.
The chili supper was originally scheduled for February 28 but had to be postponed due to severe winter weather. There had been some concern among organizers that the forced postponement might hurt attendance, but that fear proved to be unfounded. About 250 people showed up for the event.
Guests who attended the chili supper were treated not only to all they could eat chili, soup, chili dogs and desserts but entertainment as well. Journey On, a local band, played gospel music during the first hour of the event. Afterward, guests had an opportunity to bid on a wide variety of items, including gift certificates for Branson shows and homemade pies during the silent and pie auctions. A live auction conducted by auctioneer Brad Holder capped off the night’s events.
In addition to the items that were auctioned off, merchandise from some local businesses was also available for sale. Jennifer Privett, owner of Diva Bling, sold purses, jewelry and other accessories, and she donated her profit to the fire department.
Sara Haefner, owner of Emergency Personnel Accessories, and her husband Randy, a firefighter with the Lebanon Fire Protection District, also had a table set up with a number of t-shirts, printed scrubs, dress blue uniforms and other items worn by emergency personnel. According to Randy Haefner, Emergency Personnel Accessories donated $100 worth of their merchandise to be used in the silent and live auctions.
Holding the chili supper was a true team effort. According to Sherry Sears, Treasurer of the auxiliary, there were at least 36 volunteers, including auxilary members, firefighters, firefighter cadets and family members, involved in planning, setting up and carrying out the event. Auxiliary members purchased and cooked the food. They also baked pies for the pie auction and solicited local businesses and Branson theaters for items to use in the silent and live auctions. Altogether, 69 items and 12 pies were auctioned off.
Volunteers also gave generously of their time. According to Sears, they worked about two and a half hours on the evening before the chili supper and all day Saturday to prepare the community building for the event.
They also served food, poured drinks, took out trash, and waited on those who came to eat. After the supper was over and the guests had left, they worked until midnight cleaning up the event center.
Roxann Moore, of Exeter, whose daughter and son-in-law are active in the fire department, said she came to help out the community and also to see some her old friends. “I like the people,” she said.
Briana Ray, also of Exeter, said she was impressed by the people of Butterfield came together to support the fire department. “I liked the way the whole community got together to come out to the chili supper,” she said.
In addition to events like the chili supper, the auxilary supports the firefighters during the year by providing them and victims with meals and refreshments at emergency scenes.
Anyone who missed the dinner but would like to donate money to the department can send their donation to the Butterfield Firefighters Auxiliary at P.O. Box 689, Cassville, MO 65625. Checks should be made out to the Butterfield Firefighters Auxiliary.