Fundraising is the lifeline of the Hand-in-Hand Fire Company. Already in 1924 a committee of five ladies was appointed to plan a supper to benefit the Fire Company. Since then firefighters and the members of the Ladies Auxiliary have served countless dinners knowing that 66% of their annual budget comes from their fundraising efforts that also include the Carriage Auction, rentals, and fire dues that residents pay. This Company’s members have been successful in their efforts as evidenced by the equipment they have bought and the building projects they have undertaken.
A favorite way to raise money is through the benefit dinners that both the firefighters and Ladies Auxiliary members organize. Presently the Ladies Auxiliary members serve their ham dinners twice a year in April and October. Since the 1960’s Hand-in-Hand Fire Company has been famous for their delicious chicken barbecues made with their secret sauce on the Saturdays before Memorial Day and Labor Day. The firefighters have hosted a chicken potpie meal in February since 1994 where they make 500 gallons of potpie and serve 1500 people. Local people throughout Lancaster County are loyal attendees at the dinners. Also there is an extensive mailing list of 2200 people from neighboring areas and states who plan trips to Bird-in-Hand to eat the delicious Fire Company meals.
In 2006 the Fire Company launched one of its most ambitious and rewarding fundraising projects ever in the “House that Hands Built.” In response to a major capital fundraising campaign, a local businessman donated a building lot in the housing development next to the fire hall. A plan was formulated to build a house on the lot using volunteer labor and donated materials wherever possible. Amazingly over 100 businesses and individuals stepped forward and donated their time, funds, and expertise in a remarkable display of teamwork and charity. It was a very successful fundraiser with $275,000 from the sale of the house going directly toward the building project.
The Fire Company is always open to considering new ideas for raising funds so it remains financially viable. Two new opportunities have come its way in recent years. One is the existing Lancaster County Carriage & Antique Auction that was moved to Bird-in-Hand in June 2008. That was the first year the firefighters and their families volunteered and assisted the auction committee during the week of the sale. The Fire Company also organizes and mans the busy food tents at the auction. For the past three summers this auction has grown tremendously in its new location and has proved to be a significant fundraiser. Both the auction and the food stands benefit the Fire Company.
Coming up on November 6, 2010 is the first annual Amish Country Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon sponsored by the Bird-in-Hand Family of Companies and the Reinke Sports Group. The Fire Company has been invited to run the food stands the day of the race and to serve the traditional pasta dinner on Friday night before the race. This will the members’ first attempt at Italian cuisine as they serve a buffet-style spaghetti dinner from 5-7 pm to race participants and their families as well as members of the community. There is a special welcome to all Bird-in-Hand residents to come out and enjoy the evening. The cost is $10 for adults & $4 for children. All of the food has been donated for the meal and the Fire Company is the beneficiary.