Community members welcome autumn at the Fireman's Auction
Cool & damp first day of the season marks annual fundraiser
Published: Sunday, September 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:09
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- The first responders who volunteer to fight fires and rush to rescue people in traffic accidents rallied with the people of the Wilmington area on Saturday for the annual Fireman's Auction and Flea Market. Members of the New Wilmington Volunteer Fire Department (NWVFD) and supporters staged the annual event at the New Wilmington Livestock Auction Barn just outside of town. It was a short trip just north of town where hundreds of people gathered.
The decades-old event brings the community together in support of the the local VFD. The day begins with a flea market and ends with the auction in the evening. For many, it's a bargain hunter's paradise with everything donated from local residents and businesses. From meat, to a treadmill, all the way back to jewelry and dog cages; it’s likely to be sold at the Fireman's Auction.
Organizers also put on a 50/50 raffle. Will Stiglitz, a senior at Westminster College, discovered opportunity in the auction.
“It’s kind of a hidden treasure. I never knew this kind of thing even existed here. It’s pretty great though, you can literally find anything you need. Food, furniture, whatever. It’s here, and it‘s cheap."
Others agreed the Fireman's Auction is a “hidden treasure,” but many Westminster students are in the dark about what it really is.
“I have no idea what a ‘Fireman’s Auction” would consist of," Westminster junior Stephanie Oleyar said. "I’ve seen the huge groups of people and Amish buggies, and the sign by Dollar General; and every time I think ‘What is going on?’ I do want to make a point to head out there sooner or later. It seems interesting."
There is a team of Westminster students with a history with the auction and flea market. Members of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity volunteer to help with the heavy lifting. They help bring out the auction items for display and also help load them up for buyers. It's a long day and evening for all involved, but its a service project partnership the brothers have honored for a very long time.
"We just want to give back to the community," Alpha Sig brother Joshua Schroder said. "New Wilmington is our community away from home. It's a way to give back and get the Alpha Sig name out as well.so people know we're not just about parties at the fraternity."
Stiglitz and Oleyar were joined by other students who visited the massive flea market. Recent graduate and lifelong New Wilmington resident Caitlin Lehberger says she enjoys the event as a festival of sorts for the Wilmington area.
“This is New Wilmington. We don’t have a mall, we just don’t have stuff like that right in town. It’s cool to be able to head out on a Saturday morning and just see what’s out there. It’s something to do.”
Though the overnight rain created some mud, the weather stayed clear throughout Saturday morning and early afternoon. The turnout was superb and organizers will be adding up the proceeds in the days to come. The money raised goes to help the NWVFD with training and new equipment. In recent years the event has raised tens of thousands of dollars and keeps the first responders ready to serve the community. Saturday's auction and flea market was a chance for the people who make up the community to give back to those volunteers.