Saltillo VFD's annual stew couldn't come at a better time
Saturday fund-raiser to help cover costs of replacing 32-year old brush truck
By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor
Feb. 28, 2008 - With the rising costs of materials and fuel, Saltillo Volunteer Fire Department's annual stew fundraiser couldn't come at a better time.
While the department receives monthly stipends from the county and Hopkins County Memorial Hospital District for daily operating costs and upkeep, there are still needs to be met. That's where the annual fundraiser comes in.
Proceeds from this year's stew benefit will help make payments on the note taken to finish outfitting a new brush truck. The cab and chassis for the new truck were given to Saltillo VFD by Hopkins County to replace the 1976 Ford brush truck the department has been using since its inception 32 years ago.
But the department was responsible for finishing and outfitting the truck, including cost of the bed, pump and equipment. The overall cost of the truck, put in service in the summer and completed at the start of winter 2007, was about $37,000. The department still owes $9,000 on it, according to SVFD Treasurer Dutch Vallaster.
The stew fundraiser begins at 5 p.m. Saturday with both beef and chicken stew served for donations.
The annual event is generally accompanied by an auction, this year for a .243 deer rifle. Chances for the rifle with scope are offered for $2 a chance or six for $10. Tickets are available from any SVFD member or may be obtained at the benefit stew. SVFD does not require the winner be present to win.
Those unable to attend the stew but who would like to help Saltillo Volunteer Fire Department may mail donations to 412 County Road 3350, Saltillo, TX 75478.
SVFD serves thousands of residents in the eastern portion of Hopkins County, including the communities of Saltillo, Weaver and Greenpond. The department's service area covers a 62 square mile swath which starts at the Hopkins-Franklin County line, continuing westward through Saltillo to Weaver and south to Greenpond, including along FM 900 north and south, U.S. Highway 67 east, and Interstate 30 west to the 136 mile marker. SVFD uses an engine and two brush trucks to respond on all medical, fire and wreck calls within that area, including motor vehicle crashes.