It was pouring rain all day Saturday but that couldn’t dampen the spirits of about 30 students washing cars and more for the Popkum Volunteer Fire Department.
The firefighters recently suffered a break-in and theft at the firehall that cleaned them out of about $12,000 in personal effects and equipment.
The community-minded students from Timothy Christian School, heard about the thefts, and set out to do something major to recoup their losses.
“I don’t think we could have done any better even if it was a sunny day,” said Timothy Christian teacher Daniel Van Brugge.
They ended up raising $9,300 at their Sept. 17 car wash/bake sale event.
The event even had its own creative hashtag, #firewash.
Overall the story really “struck a chord” in the heart of the community, and they showed up to show it, which “tells you what kind of community we have,” he said.
There was only about a five-minute lull where no cars showed up early in the day. But that was it.
“We were just packed the whole day,” Van Brugge said.
For most of lunch rush the kids were going non-stop.
“They worked so hard and were soaked to the bone. But their spirits remained high.”
Students were out by the road waving signs. People were handing money out the car windows.
Cars were being washed even in the rain. Deep fried snacks like Dutch croquettes, baking and hot chocolate were selling like hot cakes.
They managed to sell 350 croquettes, he noted.
The parking lot near the Popkum roundabout was jammed and all day there were hundreds of vehicles coming and going.
“They came out in droves and they kept coming all day. It was phenomenal,” the proud teacher said.
Those who showed up to donate were saying thank you to the students for allowing them to help in this way.
“The community was thankful for the opportunity to show how much they appreciate the firefighters,” he said.
They presented the oversize cheque at a recent meeting at the firehall.
“The students got to see what a difference their hard work has made.”