Fundraiser raffle underway

Published 11:18 am Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department and Knock Down Hunt Club are currently selling tickets for their $10,000 drawing, to be held March 10.

“It’s going towards our building fund,” said Drakes Branch Fire Chief Kenny Tharpe, referring to proceeds from the event.

Kenny Tharpe

The lucky winner or winners will have a shot at the $10,000 pot, and ticket purchasers do not have to be present to win.

Tharpe said the purchase of one ticket includes dinner for two, which will consist of prime rib, chicken, green beans, potatoes and dessert.

He said tickets will be available for purchase until all are sold, although he did say tickets are going fast for the event.

The building fund will help officials with the development of a new fire station for the Town of Drakes Branch.

Several fundraising efforts have been in place to help the department with its goal, including the recent annual fundraising letter sent out to area residents.

The letter read, “Recently, we learned that our current station may be damaged and even dangerous. An engineer was contacted to inspect the building. His professional opinion was that all the structural deficiencies he observed are directly related to the supersaturated soil conditions under the building which are caused by both the adjacent floodplain behind the building and leaking storm drains under it.”

Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department currently provides fire and first-response services throughout the county.

“I was actually there with (Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) Executive Director Melody Foster) for the visioning session and fire department volunteers gave me a tour of the building, and long story short (is that) the building is falling apart,” said CRC Community Development Planner Todd Fortune in a previous interview.

The letter also stated that the contacted engineer said if the concerns were not addressed soon, the building would eventually be condemned.

“Simply put, our building structure is failing,” read the letter.

The CRC is currently working with the Town of Drakes Branch, assisting in activities to lead up to a Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR)-funded Flood Protection Study, according to a memorandum from Foster.

Tharpe said in addition to the dinner and $10,000 raffle, there would be other chances to win prizes during the event.

The event will be held at Briery Country Club in Keysville, and doors will open at 6 p.m.

To purchase tickets, contact a member of the Drakes Branch Volunteer Fire Department or Knock Down Hunt Club.