By Stacy Walenter
The Troy Volunteer Fire Department will hold its annual Firemen’s Ball on Saturday, May 5 at the VFW in Troy.
The Troy Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1915. The event dates back to the 1930s, when it was held at the Moose Hall. In the 1970’s, the celebration moved to the old Fire Hall and then to the new Fire Hall in 1997. During that time, the event was always just a dance with raffles.
After the venue moved to the VFW in 2008, a variety of additional events were added.
The event is so interwoven into the fabric of life in Troy that it gets an honorable mention in Troy local Richard Fifield’s novel The Flood Girls.
Lila Erickson of the VFW Auxiliary, whose members volunteer to create the event, promises lots of fun for guests at this year’s ball.
At 2pm, the pool tournament will start and carry on through the evening. Entrants can sign up from 12-2pm for a $5 entry fee. All money from the entry fees will stay in the tournament.
An all-you-can-eat potluck dinner will start at 5pm for $7. The potluck is provided by the VFW Auxiliary and the wives of the firemen.
At 6pm, a live auction will start. Erickson said that they have received a lot of nice donations, including gift certificates, a smoker, a pressure washer, and numbered art prints.
Live music by the Rural 508 Band will start at 9pm.
Raffle tickets will be available at a cost of five for $1. The raffles will run all night, along with 50/50 drawings and a Booze Basket raffle drawing at midnight. 100% of the proceeds from the raffles and auctions go to the fire department.
This will be the first ball for DJ Welch as fire chief. Welch replaces former chief Larry Chapel, who has retired, and he will now oversee the 28 volunteer fireman.
The proceeds from previous fundraisers were pooled for the past four or five years to help the department buy a new fire van.
Welch said the fire department’s next purchase will be a replacement for their outdated thermal imager. Thermal imagers register heat in smokey buildings so firemen can detect fire in a wall or whether a person is in a building. A new imager will cost $10-$15,000.
“My favorite part of the evening is the live music since we don’t get much of it around here,” said Welch. He said the firemen enjoy socializing with the community. The volunteer firemen will be distinguishable by the blue shirts they’ll be wearing.
The VFW Auxiliary will be wearing their uniform blouses. Erickson estimates that she, five other volunteers working before the event, and helpers at the event will have put in about 500 total hours planning, acquiring donations, and setting up, running, and taking down the ball.
“Come out and have fun and spend your money!” Erickson said. If you have any questions about the event, you can call Erickson at 295-4086 or 291-6680. Cash donations can be made to Troy Fire Department.