Shelby Seeley, age 5, is the picture of sweetness as she returns her $10 prize that she won in the balloon-popping fun at First Baptist Church’s fundraiser for Holyoke Volunteer Fire Department on the Fourth of July. Those assisting with the balloon-popping activity are Scholl family members, pictured from left, Margaret, Laurie, James and Arlan. — The Holyoke Enterprise | Johnson Publications
Community starts young in saying thanks to HVFD on Fourth of July
Mary Seeley helped her daughter, 5-year-old Shelby, write her name on a paper to enter a drawing for a chance to pop a balloon with cash inside at the First Baptist Church fundraising event for Holyoke Volunteer Fire Department on the Fourth of July.
Contemplating what she would do with the money if she won, Shelby thought about it a little bit, then announced that she would give it to the fire department. “After all, that’s why we’re here,” she told her mom.
When Shelby followed through with her plan when her name was called and the balloon she popped housed a $10 bill, her older siblings, Tanner, 12, and Sophie, 9, did the same, as did other youth in the crowd.
The church-sponsored fundraiser did more than raise money. It instilled in youth the significance of giving back to the community and showing appreciation to volunteers.
Community members were generous in their willingness to give as fundraising for the volunteer fire department netted over $1,300 on the Fourth of July.
First Baptist Church, located at 1000 E. Johnson St., served up food, fun and games in the church parking lot from 5-8 p.m. Donations were targeted for the HVFD.
It was James Scholl’s brainchild to place bills ranging from $1 to $20 in balloons at the fundraiser and then draw kids’ names for chances to pop a balloon and win the bill inside.
Scholl thought it was a great way to celebrate his 93rd birthday July 4. In addition to providing cash for the fun game, Scholl wrote a check for the fundraiser.
Strategically located west of the airport where the fireworks were shot off this year, the Baptist church parking lot, as well as the Melissa Memorial Hospital parking lot, provided prime viewing spots for the evening show.
Close to 175 people enjoyed hot dogs during the church fundraiser. Afterward, hot dogs, chips and cookies were served to several hundred more fireworks spectators in the two parking lots, and additional donations to the HVFD were secured.
While the turnout was small, the gesture was big when the Peerless Theatre offered a special showing of the week’s movie at 4 p.m. on July 4, and $1 of each ticket sold was donated to HVFD.
The fire department did not disappoint, as a spectacular fireworks show ended the day’s planned entertainment.
See inside the paper for more Fourth of July photos, including those from the Phillips County Raceway races.