MASSENA — One of the biggest fundraisers for the Massena Volunteer Fire Department has been canceled this year, but the department has another plan to raise money — a golf tournament that will be held in September.
The 2020 Massena International Airport Car and Vendor Show was scheduled for August. But, like other events, it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With COVID-19 going on, we have to look out for the safety of our community, and it’s unfortunate that we had to cancel this year’s car show at the Massena International Airport. It would have been year four. It was building up. It’s been well attended the last couple of years. It was a really good fundraiser for us. That is going to be hurting us,” Chairman Thomas C. Miller said.
The show has featured demonstrations, displays, music, bounce houses, vendors and food in the past. Admission has been free for the public and participating classic vehicles that are put on display, although donations for the fire department have been welcomed.
“They show up and they showcase their vehicle,” Mr. Miller said.
The Massena Volunteer Fire Department has sold hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries, soda, water and beer. The department’s Ladies Auxiliary has sold cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn.
Money raised is used to purchase equipment for the firefighters.
“Obviously the cost of our fire equipment has gone up. It goes up every year. With the COVID-19, we’ve had to purchase a different kind of PPE (personal protective equipment). We had to go out and get that like everybody else,” Mr. Miller said.
The equipment, like that worn by local rescue squad and fire department members, includes suits, gloves and masks, which he said they would need to don if they were called to locations such as the interior of a nursing home.
“Now, we obviously have to build our supply up. So that’s another cost to us. Hopefully when prices come down we can build up our supplies and if it happens again, we’ll be more prepared,” he said.
The car show may be canceled this year, but Mr. Miller said they hope to bring it back in the last week in August 2021 and “make it bigger and better if we can.”
In the meantime, they’re planning another fundraiser, the first planned to be annual Massena Volunteer Fire Department Firehouse Scramble golf tournament on Sept. 5 at the Massena Country Club.
“With the loss of the car show, we need to have a replacement,” Mr. Miller said.
Details are still being worked out and will be announced later.
“We ask people to be watching for the registration forms on our Facebook page. We’ll get more information out as we finalize it,” he said.