Kempner VFD holds fundraiser for equipment
By DAVID J. HARDIN
The Kempner Volunteer Fire Department held its annual Chili Drive-Thru fundraiser at the station on Pecan Street in Kempner on Saturday.
The money raised is going to help the department buy new bunker gear.
This is the third year the department has held a Chili Drive-Thru. Customers could drive their vehicles through the fire station and for a $10 donation, receive a 32-ounce cup of mild or spicy chili, or for $5, a 16-ounce cup of chili. Frito pie was available for $5, with cornbread costing 50 cents.
Demand was high for the chili, with the event closing down early at 7 p.m., a full one hour early, due to them running out of chili.
The department apologized on its Facebook page and said that they would make a lot more next year so there isn’t a shortage.
Fire Chief Dan Hause has been on the job since June of this year, after he took over for Dewey Owens who retired as fire chief on May 31.
Owens dedicated many years of service to the department and to the local community. Hause has been a firefighter with the department since 1989.
“This fundraiser helps the department purchase vital equipment and attire for the firefighters such as pants, jackets and other things. Just the pants and jacket alone for one person costs $1,800,” said Hause. He added that when volunteers come and go, the department has clothes or apparel that may have fit that person, but is ether too small or too large for the next person that comes in. Some items, Hause said, have an expiration date.
Deputy Fire Chief Justin Martin has been with the Kempner VFD for the past 10 years, and before that spent six years working with the Lampasas Fire Department.
“We do this dinner for the community and it is a great to get the support,” said Martin.
Cadet Tammy Liggett just became a member of the Kempner VFD on November 1.
“I like it here, and we get along because you have to be able to
trust one another,” said Liggett. She said she just moved to Kempner from Killeen five months ago, and works at her main job as a cook at the Applebee’s in Copperas Cove.
Tanner Steele also became a member of the fire department on November 1, like Liggett.
“So far ,so good, no problems, and I get along with all of my fellow firefighters,” said Steel. He lives five minutes away from the station.
Liggett’s brother Austin and sister-in-law, Kellie, came out to enjoy the chili and help support his brother’s new station get vitally needed equipment so that they can help save lives.
“It was delicious chili,” said Austin.
“I am happy to be able to help out the fire department,” said Kempner resident Al Couch, who came for the chili and the cornbread.
Bill Biber lives just outside Kempner came to the chili drive thru for the first time and said he’s looking forward to eating the chili and the cornbread and was glad he could help.
The department will be preparing for its annual auction and barbecue in the spring.