Faith Fire Department fries up a fundraiser

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, September 12, 2023

FAITH — Hundreds of people gathered in Faith’s town park on Saturday for some fried fish, steamed oysters and a good cause.

Each year, the Faith Fire Department hosts a fish fry and oyster steam to raise money for various departmental needs.

“We started doing it because we are a small town, not a lot of tax revenue, so we use this as a fundraiser for our fire department,” Assistant Chief Chase Kneip said.

Saturday was the 11th year that the department has held the event.

“All the proceeds go to the fire department,” Kneip said. “It is the only fundraiser that we do.”

Those funds provide discretionary spending ability for the small department.

“We use it for personnel stuff, such as T-shirts,” Kneip said. “When we got a chief’s car, it helped pay for some of the lighting on it.

“The fire department takes care of it. If we need to buy a new refrigerator or something like that for the station, instead of using tax money, we use this.”

Funding from the event also allows them to help department members who may encounter personal setbacks.

“We also use it as a benevolent fund for our members if somebody is going through some hard times so we can help them out,” Kneip said.

Kneip said that they sold more than 400 tickets in the lead-up to Saturday. Guests could either buy a ticket for just the fish and shrimp or, for an additional charge, they could also get oysters.

“Depending on food prices, which have fluctuated a bit here lately, we usually expect to bring in a little over $5,000,” Kneip said.

As with any outdoor event, there’s always some risk that weather will impact it. Saturday, the storm clouds held off, though.

“It rained about all last year,” Kneip said.

It was all hands on deck from the Faith Volunteer Fire Department.

“There are some wives and other family that come help, too,” Kneip said. “Also, just people in the community who want to come out and get involved.”

Faith firefighters have had a lot to celebrate this year after being reclassified to an ISO fire insurance rating of 1, which is the best designation a department can receive.

Kneip acknowledged the new rating but said that the turnout and the fish fry were just like any other year.

The assistant chief said that most of the people who attend live in Faith but that every year, he does see people from other parts of the county who come out to support the department.