SARCOXIE, Mo. — The Sarcoxie Fire Department has been holding a series of fundraisers this year to pay for the restoration its 1950 Ford firetruck and is slowly inching toward its $50,000 goal.
The department has raised over $2,000 in donations with its first two fundraisers, and the group hopes to raise even more this weekend, according to Elizabeth Sivils, public information officer for the Sarcoxie Fire Department.
“I believe it’s been with the department since it was new, and the community has grown up with it,” Sivils said. “We’re a really small town, so the older generations remember it used in the parade. It’s an important part of our town.”
A firefighter crew will battle dirt and grime in a car wash fundraiser slated from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of the Jay Hatfield Ford dealership, 1517 High St. Cars will be washed for any size donation.
“We’re really hoping for a good turnout,” Sivils said. “They’re not charging a certain price, just drop in a donation and get your car washed. If nothing else, they need to come out and see some firefighters wash some cars.”
Proceeds will go toward the department’s “50 Fund” earmarked for the renovation of its 1950 model firetruck, an endeavor the firefighters decided to undertake earlier this year. The truck is outfitted with a 500-gallon-per-minute pump and two original wooden ladders on the sides.
The 69-year-old vehicle is considered to be a staple in the community and is used for special events such as the annual Christmas parade.
The firefighters are volunteering their time for the project and have begun collecting parts to restore the firetruck. Currently, the truck runs, but it needs things such as a fresh coat of paint and work to get the pump in order. Thus far, the truck has been cleaned and the radiator has been rebuilt.
“Basically, they want it working again," Sivils said. Whether it would be actually taken out on a fire is still to be determined, she said, “but they’re wanting it for the parade, PR and for the community. They are also wanting to restore the wooden ladders.”
“Two of the firefighters are heading it up and have made a list of things that need to be done,” she said. “They’re doing it on their own time, and none of this is department funded. We just don’t have it in the budget to do it.”
Sivils said the project has helped boost morale in the department.
“It’s really brought everyone together, and it’s something that has gotten everybody excited because we all remember riding on it as a kid,” she said.
The department has received overwhelming support for the project, Sivils said, and the community is reluctant to let it go by the wayside.
“We’ve had people come down to the station just to see it because they’re excited,” she said. “It was mentioned several years ago about getting rid of it because it was just taking up space, nobody seemed interested in doing anything with it then, and the community threw a fit. They were not happy at all.”