Firefighters across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows raised thousands in cash for those in need across both communities.
Maple Ridge firefighters raised a record amount of money at the annual Firefighters For Families boot drive.
Firefighters raised roughly $17,750 in cash donations during the fundraising event on Saturday, Dec. 10, that saw 55 members of the department at six locations across town for about five hours, including members of the youth academy, paid-on-call, and career members of the department.
Then the Maple Ridge Fire Fighters Charitable Society decided to not only match the donation to bring the total to $35,500 – but the society went even farther, topping it up to make it $40,000.
“It is our largest boot drive donation to date! We presented the cheque during the Holiday train this past Saturday,” said assistant fire chief Nick Virs.
Panago Pizza donated pizza to feed the volunteers in Maple Ridge during lunch.
“They have been a huge supporter of our charitable society events, and we appreciate their support,” added Virs.
In addition to the cash, which will be split between the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society and the Friends In Need Food Bank, they collected 596 pounds of non-perishable food for the food bank as well.
Meanwhile, Pitt Meadows firefighters raised $9,190.75 and collected 358 pounds of non-perishable food donations.
“It went really well,” said fire chief Mike Larsson about the event, adding that this was the first year they teamed up with the Ridge Meadows RCMP’s Cram the Cruiser campaign – with one cruiser in front of Save-On-Foods and the other in front of Superstore – where people could donate new toys to fill each of the vehicles.
“It’s something we would like to continue in the future,” Larsson said.
More than 40 people volunteered their time for the Pitt Meadows event, including firefighters with the Pitt Meadows Fire Rescue Members Association, IAFF Local 4810, about a half dozen honourary members – those who have since retired – and members of the Pitt Meadows Lions Club.
In total, both the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows fire departments together also collected about 150 new toys for the Christmas hamper society.
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