January 21, 2015 - 2:52 PM
VERNON - The Okanagan Landing Volunteer Firefighters Association may not be fighting fires anymore, but it’s found a way to continue its longstanding tradition of community service.
When its fire contract with the City of Vernon wasn’t renewed in 2012, members began dissolving the association and transferring funds to non-profits.
“We looked at number of worthwhile charities and narrowed it down, eventually choosing five based on the impact it would have for the community,” longtime member Len Ganz said in a release.
One of the charities they chose was the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation. A $25,000 donation from the fire hall will go towards the Tower of Care Campaign.
“We are very thankful for the OK Landing Firefighters generous contribution to Tower of Care,” director of development Sue Beaudry said. “Their gift will be used to help equip and furnish a room on one of the top floors of Polson Tower, improving healthcare for generations of North Okanagan residents.”
The Okanagan Landing Firefighters Association was established in 1974 by a group of volunteers. Through donations and grants from the government and North Okanagan Regional District, volunteers built the fire hall on Okanagan Landing Road.
“There were about 10 to 15 of us,” Ganz said. “We used our vehicles and offered our labour to build the hall brick by brick.”
Throughout the years, the group was involved in the community helping out with the OK Landing Elementary School’s annual Kids Fun Day, presenting the Halloween fireworks display and running the pancake breakfast at Paddlewheel Park Regatta.
“As a non-profit society, the department never took practice pay. Everyone donated it back to the hall,” Ganz said.
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