Volunteer firefighters and EMS responders in turnout gear braved cold winds and blowing rain Saturday and Sunday, February 15-16, to collect donations from passing motorists and shoppers. They chose collecting funds for the KDCCP charity as a way of giving even more than they already do in their emergency service work, because they understand that children in Wahkiakum County and the western United States are benefitting from the basic cancer research being conducted at Doernbecher.
As reported in the February 6 edition of the Eagle, 2014 marks the second year that two fire departments and the first for three departments collaborating with the Kiwanis Club to fight difficult cancers that afflict and kill children. District 4 Chief Jim Wilson, Cathlamet Chief Fred Johnson, and Skamokawa Chief Duncan Cruickshank expressed appreciation for the public generosity that resulted in this year’s donations. While the amount collected was slightly less than the $4,586.57 raised in 2013, fate in the form of snow postponements, Mules athletic successes that led to out-of-town games, and poor weather may have played a hand. “Even with these handicaps, our neighbors and visitors came through beautifully,” Kiwanian Dick Swart observed. “It is a tribute to the high respect the people have for our volunteer responders that they step up and give freely. The appeal of an outstretched firefighter’s boot as a call for charity goes back to the days of horse-drawn ladder rigs in America, if not earlier. And, the fact that children in our community are directly benefitting from this research makes the effort all the stronger,” Swart said.
While appealing to drivers and passersby, Kiwanians and emergency volunteers discussed ideas for increasing fundraising for the KDCCP in the future, such as different schedules, more engagement of teens, and involving other fire agencies in Wahkiakum County. “We can definitely look at these and other ideas to keep building support for Doernbecher,” Swart said, summing up input from the responders Saturday and Sunday.
Kiwanis is a worldwide service organization dedicated to serving children of the world, starting with our own community. Persons interested in helping Kiwanis’ mission may call Club President Linda Barth at (360) 795-3276, Fire District 4 Chief Jim Wilson at (3760) 795-3781, Cathlamet Fire Department Chief Fred Johnson at (360) 795-3367, or Skamokawa Fire District Chief Duncan Cruickshank at (360) 795-6041.