Coolbaugh VFC Fundraiser a Four-Alarm Success!
COOLBAUGH – “It was like Black Friday!” Coolbaugh Fire Chief Bill Weimer said, describing the tremendous influx of ‘shoppers’ at the start of the volunteer fire company’s first fundraising sale, made possible through the generous donation of a tractor-trailer load of merchandise from the Walmart Distribution Center located in the township.
When they opened the trailer, the volunteers from the fire company found everything imaginable, from toys to bicycles, grills, smokers, pet supplies, bath and beauty products, shop lights, tools, electronics – “if you can find it at Walmart, it’s probably here,” said Assistant Chief Tomas Keane at the supervisor’s meeting the week before the sale.
Fifteen members of the fire crew worked about 60 hours apiece, estimated Chief Weimer, just to sort and catalog the contents of the donation, then assembling bicycles and grills, checking electronics to make sure they were working, and the like. Auxiliary members scanned every item, put price labels on them, and loaded them into the point of sale computers. The merchandise was priced at roughly half of the normal retail cost, and the company accepted cash and credit cards for the sales. Prior to the sale, the fire company donated TVs to the Pocono Mountain Regional EMS and to the Thornhurst fire company, and electronics to the Pocono Mountain Regional Police.
Volunteers from the fire company, township supervisors, and others helped set up and run the sale. The event began at noon on Saturday, September 19. By late morning, shoppers were lined up at the fire company. The parking area immediately filled to capacity when it was opened shortly after 11:30 am. By two or three that afternoon 80% of the merchandise had been sold, including every television, bicycle, and grill. By the end of the day, the tables of merchandise, which had originally covered most of the parking area, were reduced to about half a dozen or so tables, as the volunteers placed all the empty tables back into storage. Deep discounts were made on the merchandise remaining for the second day of the sale.
The fundraiser was to support the cost of a new firehouse and raised an impressive $30,000+ over the course of the two-day sale. Chief Weimer expressed the volunteer company’s gratitude, “The community support has been outstanding,” he told The Boro, “We learned a lot doing this and are looking forward to doing it again around October.” From the looks of it, the community will be looking forward to that event, too!