Foothills Fire's fluffy food fundraiser fundamental for firefighting finances

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/5/22

While the Front Range has gotten a reprieve recently, the long-term drought has made the fire season longer and more dangerous. Residents can do their part to help a Golden-area department by eating pancakes.

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Foothills Fire's fluffy food fundraiser fundamental for firefighting finances

Posted

While the Front Range has gotten a reprieve recently, the long-term drought has made the fire season longer and more dangerous. Residents can do their part to help a Golden-area department by eating pancakes.

On June 5, Foothills Fire & Rescue hosted its annual pancake breakfast fundraiser, which raises about $20,000 for the fire protection district that serves Lookout Mountain, Idledale, Mount Vernon and sections of the Genesee and Morrison area.

About 1,200 people attend annual event at the Lookout Mountain station. This year’s event featured a myriad of family friendly activities like firetruck rides, dog adoption, fire extinguisher demonstrations, a silent auction and more.

Ronda Cameron, president of Foothills Fire Auxiliary, said event proceeds go toward purchasing equipment or funding training opportunities for the department’s 32 volunteer firefighters and five paid staff members.

The auxiliary bought $7,000 stabilization tools for the department two weeks ago. Cameron described how auxiliary members were initially hesitant to make such a large-scale purchase but decided to go ahead because the pancake breakfast was approaching.

For those who missed out on June 5’s plain, blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes, there are other ways to support Foothills Fire & Rescue or firefighters in general.

Those who live in-district and are able can become volunteer firefighters. Additionally, Foothills Fire Auxiliary is open to anyone who wants to help, not just those who live in-district, Deputy Chief Kyle Vaughn said.

“When that tone goes out, someone has to respond,” he said of needing more firefighters and auxiliary members.

He and Chief Alan Anderson also asked everyone, regardless of where they live, to ensure there’s defensible space around their homes so firefighters can protect it if a large-scale fire happens. Anderson said the Jeffco Open Space slash program is a great way to dispose of extra fuels around a structure.

Residents should also practice fire drills and figure out their evacuation plans, they said. They’re also welcome to donate to Foothills Fire & Rescue on its website.

But more than anything, people should report any columns of smoke. The earlier firefighters can respond, the better. Vaughn and Anderson said people shouldn’t hesitate to call something in, especially when it’s dry and windy.

Judy Bertrand, who lives in the Genesee area, has two sons who’ve served as firefighters. One is now a Foothills Fire Auxiliary member and was helping with the pancake breakfast, she said.

Bertrand also asked that anyone who’s able serve as either a volunteer or paid firefighter.

“We don’t give (firefighters) enough credit,” Bertrand said. “Most of them are volunteers. … We need more people to become firefighters.

As she and her 2-year-old grandson Benton were walking around the booths and activities, Bertrand said this year’s pancake breakfast might be the biggest one she’s seen. She’s been to five or six of them, she estimated, adding that it really brings the community together.

The event’s a big hit among families, including many who don’t live in the district.

Thomas Parsons and his 2-year-old Simon, who live in the Golden city limits, decided to check out the event after Parsons saw a flyer in a coffee shop. While his older daughter missed out, Parsons said Simon was excited.

“We thought it’d be cool to see the firetrucks — we didn’t know we’d get to ride in one,” Parsons continued.

Lakewood’s Abigail Wenk, 9-month-old Rory and their family were newcomers also. They were looking forward to seeing the alpacas and dogs, taking a ride on the firetruck, and seeing the Flight for Life helicopter.

But, as Wenk said while the family was sitting down with plates of breakfast foods: “Pancakes first.”

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