FACTORYVILLE — Members of the Factoryville Fire Co. and its auxiliary are putting their new facility, located a mile from the old firehouse, to good use. The auxiliary holds fundraisers for the fire company and ambulance department in the facility’s spacious banquet hall. Fundraisers include all-day bingo at least twice a year, gun raffles, dinners for the Masons, Breakfast with Santa, Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, and Father’s Day roast beef dinners.
“The auxiliary asks what the firefighters and ambulance needs,” said auxiliary president Carol Otto, whose late husband was a member of both the fire company and the auxiliary. Recently, the auxiliary raised enough money to purchase a stair-chair for the new facility. The auxiliary, whose members are mostly over the age of 60, is currently looking for younger members.
An indoor flea market was held July 28 for the first time in the new building with vendors including members of the fire company and auxiliary.
“We are here to help,” said fourth-generation firefighter Kathryn Bommer. “We do what we can for the public. We want to give back to the community.”
Bommer’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all firefighters of Factoryville Fire Co. and she has been a firefighter for 40 years. She remembers when the firetrucks were smaller and mentioned that one of the reasons for the new facility was to build bigger garage bays to accommodate the now larger firetrucks. At the flea market, she vended many items, including a cookbook with 150 recipes — all submitted by members, family members, and friends of Factoryville Fire Co. Station 9.
Sheila Manning, who joined the auxiliary just three months ago, vended items such as clothes and memorabilia from Disney’s “Frozen.” She is a fire police captain of the Nicholson Fire Co. and has been a member of its auxiliary for 12 years.
Auxiliary members cooked haluski, wimpies, pizza, and hot dogs in the facility’s new kitchen. The auxiliary ladies purchased industrial refrigerators and freezers and also bought other kitchen equipment from an auction in Allentown. A pizza oven was donated by the Factoryville Fire Co.
“It was an effort of the entire auxiliary,” said Arlene Sorak, vice-president, who made brownies for the flea market.
“We make everything from scratch when we make something,” she added.
The flea market had a decent turnout with both vendors and customers.
“It seems to be doing good,” said Otto. “Hopefully, we will do it again next year.”
The new facility also allows for birthday parties, weddings, graduation parties, and other benefits. The Factoryville Fire Co. will hold a spaghetti dinner Saturday, Aug. 4 in an effort to raise money for medical expenses for Tom Tratthen, a fire instructor who has been diagnosed with colon cancer.
Tratthen has taught classes for most of Wyoming County, especially for Meshoppen Volunteer Fire Department. Stephanie Carney, an EMS with Meshoppen’s fire department, brought up the idea of a spaghetti benefit at the monthly meeting. She also asked other Wyoming County fire companies and surrounding help including United Way of Susquehanna County. Carney and her friend Travis Prevost organized the spaghetti benefit with Brian Gow, assistant fire chief of Factoryville Fire Co.
“I am thankful that Factoryville Fire Co. is letting us use their hall,” said Carney. “They have been a great help, especially Brian. I think it’s a good location and hope to see many people support this great cause.”
The spaghetti dinner will include salad, bread, drink, and dessert.
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