SAN ANTONIO – Paying basic utilities has been no easy task for a local volunteer fire department.
According to firefighters at Ata-Bexar Volunteer Fire Department, even filling up the tanks of their firetrucks can be a struggle due to low funds.
“Right now, we have a truck payment that’s almost $10,000, insurance runs about five to eight grand a year, and right now we don’t have that,” said William Lay, public information officer for the department.
An average of five fundraisers throughout the year hosted by the volunteer firefighters help raise money. However, they’ve all been cancelled due to COVID-19.
“We only make $16,000 a year from the county, and we have only that money to work off of,” Lay said. “The money that we get on our fundraisers, go (toward) our fuel bill, it goes (toward) our electric bill, our regular utility bills here and just our normal operating costs.”
They hope a plate sale will alleviate some of the financial burden they face.
“We’re hoping to pull in $4,000,” Lay said. “If we can make more than that, that’d be great.”
Saturday afternoon, Sept. 6, from noon to 6 p.m. volunteer firefighters and their families will host a spaghetti plate sale priced at $7. The plate includes spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, garlic bread, dessert and a drink.
Dawson Williamson, volunteer firefighter, along with his family are spearheading the event. The Williamsons have donated all the supplies and food for Saturday’s fundraiser in order to help carryout the mission of the department.
“We would do everything we can, pull money out of our own pockets, to keep fuel in our trucks(in order to) keep operating because this community needs us,” Lay said.
The event will take place at the Ata-Bexar Volunteer Fire Department located at 25580 Pleasanton Road. The event is pickup only and face coverings are required. More information can be found on the fire department’s Facebook event here.