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Firefighters plan to move Bonanza Extravaganza

January 10, 2007|By TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN

A fundraiser held by a local firefighters' foundation is relocating to the county's Agricultural Education Center in 2008.

Glenn Fuscsick, treasurer of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1605 Foundation Inc., said the center off Sharpsburg Pike is equipped to hold the Bonanza Extravaganza and said the event would pump money into the agricultural center's operational budget.

"We felt that it would be a better location to serve our guests," Fuscsick said Wednesday.

The event was held at Hagerstown Speedway last May. It will be held there again this May.

More than 7,000 people attended last year's event, which made a profit of about $150,000. The foundation gave approximately $93,000 of that to charity. The rest is going toward operational costs for this year's event, Fuscsick said.

The County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to allow the event at the agricultural center and waived the policy that prohibits alcohol at county parks for the extravaganza, County Attorney John Martirano said.

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The agricultural center has permanent pavilions for activities, rather than tents the foundation uses at the speedway, he said. The center also has a commercial kitchen, electricity and water, so the foundation won't have to rent those services, Fuscsick said.

Fuscsick said "gun jar" games will be available this year and next year, but no guns will be on site. Gun jars are similar to tip jars, except the prizes are guns rather than cash, he said. Gun winners will go through background checks before receiving the prizes, he said.

The foundation is planning to give away about $800,000 in cash and prizes for this year's event May 11-12, according to the event's Web site, www.bonanzaextravaganza.com.

The grand prize is $100,000, and other prizes include cash, Chevrolet vehicles and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Tickets cost $100 per person, but one guest can be brought per ticket for an additional $20, according to the site.

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