Firefighters in the Wauseon area are talking turkey early this year.
To avoid a conflict with other events, the Wauseon Fire Department has moved the date of its annual feather party to Nov. 12. Proceeds from the fund-raising event are earmarked for additional training materials and equipment and to help pay for a new tanker/pumper, in association with Clinton Township trustees.
Fire Chief Marv Wheeler said the date change was made in an effort to draw more people to the feather party.
"In the last several years we've been in competition with the high school play and the Ohio-Michigan game," he said. "We thought we would give it a shot and move it back a week."
Traditionally, the event has been held closer to Thanksgiving. That tradition dates back to the early years of the feather party - when live turkeys and other feathered friends were awarded as prizes. Frozen birds are featured prizes now days.
Across northwest Ohio, many fire departments, American Legion posts, and other organizations host feather parties in November. The popular events around the region raise money to benefit firefighters and rescue squads; community projects and programs, and veterans' organizations.
The annual event is hosted by the Wauseon Firemen's Association as its yearly fund-raiser, Mr. Wheeler said. "Usually the money is used for equipment and training. We always put in money when we get new trucks. The association puts in pretty hefty amounts towards the truck," he said. "We have a tanker truck on order right now. The firemen's association has put in roughly
$25,000 towards that truck. We would put in money for the new ladder truck if the levy passes," he said.
Voters in Clinton Township are being asked Nov. 8 to approve a 1.15-mill, five-year levy to raise revenue toward the purchase of a new aerial tower for the fire department. The existing tower is nearly 30 years old, and because of the age of the vehicle, maintenance and safety issues occur on a daily basis, according to Kevin Nelson, treasurer of the Wauseon Firemen's Association.
With the expansion of local businesses, factories, and the Fulton County Health Center, the current tower cannot reach portions of some buildings in the city, the chief said.
Activities on tap for the feather party include a chili dinner beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the fire hall, 230 Clinton St. Starting at 6:30 p.m. bingo, a turkey wheel, a big six wheel, and games for children will get under way. An auction is set for 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by contacting any Wauseon firefighter. Donations for the auction are being accepted, and can be made by contacting the fire department.