More activities and a new name have been added to an annual fundraiser that benefits Martin Volunteer Fire-Rescue.
Previously a chicken plate fundraiser, the annual event is now known as Martin Day and will also feature a variety of foods and activities – including a 5K Blazing Road Race.
"We're hoping to make this more of a day event where people will stay and enjoy family-oriented activities, not just come and buy a chicken plate," said Laura Robinson, chairman.
In addition to barbecue and fried chicken, fried chicken livers and gizzards will be sold – all served with baked beans, coleslaw, bread and a dessert. A donation of $8 per order is requested; delivery is available within 20 miles of the firehouse for 10 or more orders.
Booths will be set up throughout the event area and will feature crafts, as well as desserts, dips, jams, jellies and snacks (no concessions such as burgers and hot dogs).
Booth space is available and fees are: 10 x 10 space, $25; 10 x 20 space, $50. The deadline to reserve space is March 8. The application may be downloaded from the Martin Volunteer Fire-Rescue Facebook page
Bounce houses will be set up for the kids, and several prizes will be raffled – including a Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun.
A highlight of Martin Day will be the 5K Blazing Road Race, which organizers hope will become an annual event.
Starting at 8 a.m., the race will begin at the four-way stop in downtown Martin. Racers will proceed down Collinsville-Martin Road, turning right onto Hand Road. They will continue down Hand Road to Wildcat Road, where they will take another right. Participants will proceed down Wildcat Road until turning right on Newton County-Martin Road. They will travel up and down a few hills and cross the finish line back in front of the fire station.
Chip Timing for competitive runners will be used for the 5K Blazing Road Race. Awards will be presented for each age group, as well as an overall male runner and overall female runner.
Young running enthusiasts can also get in on the fun by participating in a 1-mile Fun Run. The event is geared to ages 10 and under.
Registration is $25 for the 5K, $10 for the 1-mile Fun Run. Registration will be accepted up to the day of the event, however runners who register by March 8 will be guaranteed a commemorative T-shirt. Online registration is available at www.racesonline.com/events/martinvfd5k
Proceeds from Martin Day will go toward completion of a building connected to the Martin Volunteer Fire-Rescue firehouse. "We've needed this building for quite awhile," said Al Davis, a volunteer fireman and president of the Martin Volunteer Fire-Rescue Board. "Once it's completed, the building will be used for training and classes."
Construction on the building began in November 2013 and is half complete.
"We're doing all the work ourselves," Davis said. "We have the shell built and now we're working on the inside; but we're about all out of money."
Although no goal has been set for the Martin Day fundraiser, Davis said $20,000 is needed to finish the building project.
"Any extra money left over will be used to buy equipment and turn-out gear for the fire department," he said.
Founded in 1987, Martin Volunteer Fire-Rescue is classified as a Class A fire department and has 30 members. In addition to the Martin community, the fire and rescue volunteers assist on calls in Bailey, Collinsville, Duffee and Kemper County.
In addition to saving lives and property, Davis said volunteer fire department also save homeowners money.
"We save the average homeowner $600-1,000 a year on insurance; a lot of people don't realize that," he said. "If we were to shut down, people would see a big increase in their homeowners' insurance.
"That's why we have fundraisers such as this and ask for donations to help keep us going. It's really dependent on the community to help keep it going," Davis said.
What: Martin Day
When: March 29, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Downtown Martin
Information: Laura Robinson, chairman, at (601) 917-2846; Jamie Pogue at (601) 479-5915; Martin Volunteer Fire-Rescue firehouse, (601) 737-2198; or visit the Facebook page Martin Volunteer Fire-Rescue