SAYLORSBURG, Pa. — It's been a tough year for everyone, including firefighters. Due to the pandemic, a lot of important fundraising events have been canceled.
Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder is hoping an event taking place later this week at Klingel's Farm near Saylorsburg will help fill a fundraising gap.
"As everyone knows, a lot of things have been canceled due to the COVID, and I mean, we are all behind. I mean not behind a couple hundred, but thousands upon thousands of dollars behind, and where are we going to make up this money unless the people come out and help us," said Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder Chief Leon Clapper.
Klingel's Farm, home to this very large corn maze called Mazezilla, is hosting its annual Hero Night this Friday. All of the proceeds will be donated to Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder.
"They don't realize that they rely on people and donations to keep them going. These guys are donating their time, and they aren't getting anything back, they are just doing it for the satisfaction," Stewart Klingel said.
Firefighters say they really hope to see other businesses get creative and offer up fundraising ideas because a lot of fire departments are hurting this year.
Chief Clapper says his budget is down about $20,000 in fundraising. Between Hero Night and a chicken barbecue scheduled for next month, every little bit will help.
"This all goes to truck payments, our day to day operations, our fuel, our light bill, nothing stops. The call volume hasn't gone down at all, and you know everything costs money to operate. Fire service is big business, it's not the little donation it used to be, 'Oh, let's help the fire company do this.' I mean the training, new equipment, the cost of everything has skyrocketed," Chief Clapper said.
Hero Night will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday. It costs $10 to walk through the maze.