Ellsworth Firefighters Featured in Musical Fundraiser for Firefighter Convention
The Ellsworth Fire Department is hosting the Maine State Federation of Firefighters Convention in 2013. Hosting the event costs a lot of money, but the department is finding some creative ways to fundraise. The planning and fundraising process has brought the firefighters together in more ways than one, but you can bet that they didn’t expect to come together in such a choreographed way. On August 17-19, they took to the stage in a musical fundraiser called “Music, Music, Music!” “Whatever we can do to help raise those funds is well worth it to do and we’re having a great time doing it,” said Lt. Gary Saunders, co-chair of the 2013 firefighters convention. The fundraiser was the idea of Penny Weinstein, the administrative assistant to the city manager and also a member of a singing group called The Memphis Belles. She knew the department needed to raise a lot of money to hold the convention.Weinstein said, “I raised my hand one day and said, ‘Well I have a background in music and theater and so how about a musical?’”She mentioned to the firefighters that she’d want some participation from their end.Saunders said, “We were told that all we had to do was stand there and look stupid and the singers would do the rest. So the rehearsal schedule came out and there was 10 hours of rehearsal, that’s when the bells started to go off that we’d be doing a little more than looking stupid.”The firefighters learned all of their moves and even decided to interject themselves into some other numbers.”When it comes to the curtain call, they get the biggest round of applause,” said Weinstein.Every dollar raised through the musical goes back to the Ellsworth Fire Department so they can throw the best convention possible. Firefighters say it benefits the whole community.Fire Chief Richard Tupper said, “We’re bringing thousands of people in during that weekend. The economic boost that it’s going to give the community, the motels will be full. In fact most of them will be booked shortly after this year’s convention, a year out. The restaurants will be full, the shops are going to see a big influx of people.”So if learning some silly choreography is what it takes to make a great convention, the firefighters are happy to do it. But don’t worry, they’re not quitting their day jobs anytime soon.