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Pandemic Cancels Annual Orange Volunteer Firefighters Carnival

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Fire Department's prime revenue source canceled, First time since World War II.

ORANGE, Conn. - eTradeWire -- For the first time since World War II, the Orange Firefighters Carnival will not be held this year.

Fire Chief Vaughan Dumas made the announcement, citing the dangers posed by COVID-19.  The August carnival is the department's primary revenue source. This year was to include celebrations of the department's 95th Anniversary.

"Because of the current health crisis and the need to protect citizens, we must cancel our primary source of income, the Firefighters Carnival," Dumas wrote to Orange residents. "As a result, your support is more important than ever."

Dumas said the department will conduct its annual raffle, usually part of the carnival's excitement. Tickets are being mailed to residents, and prizes include a $10,000 gift card. Additional tickets are available at Orange Town Hall, 617 Orange Center Road, and at Knight's Power Equipment, 268 Boston Post Road.

"This year, it's even more important that people support these fundraising efforts," said Dumas. "Our goal is to provide dependable fire protection to Orange while avoiding a tax burden on businesses and residents. These fund-raising efforts are vitally important to the department's success."

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The carnival has been a tradition since it started on the Town Green in 1928. The raffle was part of the program from the beginning when the grand prize was a car. Other prizes over the years have included a gallon of paint, $5 worth of gas, a ton of coal and a toilet seat. The prizes are more exciting this year.

That first year, the carnival made about $3,000 and covered most of the department's budget. Today, equipment is larger, more expensive and more complex. Training is a non-stop exercise undertaken by the firefighters.

"Our goal is to continue providing state-of-the-art fire protection to the town," said Dumas. "That isn't cheap. Last year, we purchased a new apparatus to replace a piece that no longer met current safety standards. We'll donate the time, but we look to residents and businesses to support our efforts. While the town government is very supportive, there is no annual fire tax to support our budget."

Raffle tickets and other donations can be mailed to the Orange Volunteer Fire Association, P.O. Box 878, Orange 06477. Donations also can be given through the department's Facebook page or website, www.orangevfd.org.

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"I also know that the pandemic has created financial difficulties for some townspeople," said Dumas. "Those who can't contribute this year should know that we are grateful for their past support. We thank those who can contribute. Either way, your Orange volunteer firefighters will continue to serve you and the rest of this community."

For information about membership, donations or public education, call (203) 891-4703, click on https://www.orangevfd.org/  or find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/OrangeVoluneerFireDepa...).

Doug Fenichel, APR

Source: Orange Volunteer Fire Association
Filed Under: Entertainment

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