Here's how you can help P.E.I. firefighters fundraise in the pandemic

·1 min read
Angie Arsenault delivers a 50-50 cheque at New London fire station. That's her dad, Jim Arsenault. (Submitted by Angie Arsenault - image credit)
Angie Arsenault delivers a 50-50 cheque at New London fire station. That's her dad, Jim Arsenault. (Submitted by Angie Arsenault - image credit)

With traditional in-person fundraising ticket sales made difficult by pandemic public health restrictions, fire companies on P.E.I. have moved online.

All the fire companies on the Island have come together in an online, weekly 50-50 draw.

The draw is organized by new recruit Angie Arsenault of the New London Fire Department. Arsenault said she ran into an early example of the importance of fundraising.

"I went around trying on gear and I'm five feet tall, and the next shortest firefighter in our department is five foot seven," said Arsenault. "I really wanted some stuff that fit, and that all comes from fundraised money."

Firefighting equipment is purchased with donations from the public.
Firefighting equipment is purchased with donations from the public.(Submitted by Angie Arsenault)

It took some persuasion to get every fire company on board, said Arsenault, but it was for the best of reasons.

"Kudos to them. The reason they didn't want to join into the draws is because they were actually in a financially-stable position and didn't want to take anything away from the departments that needed the boost," she said.

But Arsenault felt the fundraiser would be more effective if every station was on board. She pulled the stragglers along by convincing them there were always places in the community where the money could go: to strategically-placed defibrillators, for example, or a scholarship for a local student.

The 50-50 is flexible, said Arsenault. You can spend $5 to $50 on ticket packages, and you can designate which community you want your money to go to.

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