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Rowan Rescue Squad sets record straight on fundraising typo

SALISBURY — Allen Carlyle is trying to find the humor in an unfortunate typo.

The Rowan County Rescue Squad sent out a letter last month that solicited donations for the organization’s annual fundraising campaign. In past years, the department has used portrait sessions to raise money. Because of COVID-19, it’s simply soliciting donations this year.

But its fundraising appeal to tens of thousands of local folks contained a sentence that raised some eyebrows among the recipients and produced some not-so-pleasant responses.

“Our squad is a volunteer and career-based consisting of 35 over paid and volunteer members,” the letter stated.

But as Carlyle, who leads the Rescue Squad and does not receive a salary, and any member will attest, the organization is not a get-rich-quick scheme. The organization relies heavily on donations to purchase equipment and respond to calls. While volunteer and rural fire departments are able to levy property taxes, the Rescue Squad cannot.

“The guys who do this do it for the love of the business,” he said.

The Rescue Squad counts three full-time employees, 15 part-time employees and a number of volunteers.

Everything that’s donated during the annual fundraising campaign will go toward providing services that include water rescue, cutting people out of cars after crashes and other specialized items. The organization is a nonprofit. All donations are tax-deductible.

Carlyle said he’d like to have any donations for the annual campaign by June, but that “we’re thankful for everything we get.”

In previous years, the campaign has raised $80,000 to $90,000, but it was far below that last year because of COVID-19.

For more information about donating, visit rowanrescue.org or call 704-633-5405. The Rowan Rescue Squad is located at 1140 Julian Road in Salisbury.

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