About 400 brave weather to attend Sportman's Bash

The Hancock Volunteer Fire Co. hoped to take fundraiser to another level

October 01, 2011|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI |
  • Randy Adams of Williamsport, right, buys a ticket for a gun raffle from Ronnie VanMeter of Hancock Saturday at the Hancock Volunteer Fire Co.'s Sportsman's Bash.
By Alicia Notarianni, Staff Writer

HANCOCK — The Hancock Volunteer Fire Co. has hosted cash-prize giveaway events before.

But this year, the group hoped to take its annual fundraising bash to another level.

Organizers settled on a rugged, outdoorsy theme, and purchased $50,000 in prizes for Saturday's Sportsman's Bash on Sensel Road.

"We wanted to try to make something a little bit bigger, something to bring in more money," event coordinator Bob Hoopengardner Jr. said. "Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate."

More than 400 people sloshed through mud, and braved downpours and 50-degree temperatures. Most sought shelter under a pavilion and tents, bundled with hoods, hats and even blankets. Classic rock blared and an announcer called out prize-winning numbers every 15 minutes from noon to 5 p.m.

Hoopengardner, 48, of Hancock, said the company printed 1,000 tickets for previous events. This year, the group aspired to a higher sales goal of 2,500 tickets. By midafternoon, about 1,100 had been purchased. The $35 charge covered food and drinks as well as a chance to win prizes, including hunting trips, bows, guns, cash and the grand prize — a 2011 Chevrolet Cruze.

Hoopengardner said the company had hoped to raise about $10,000 at the bash, but given the weather, he didn't think that was likely to happen.

"I don't believe we'll make that this year," he said. "I hope to break even, and hope to make some money."

In addition to ticket sales, the company received money from tip jars and gun raffles. Proceeds would go to expenses such as equipment and vehicle maintenance, Hoopengardner said.

Chasity Fink, 35, of Hancock, won $100 playing tip jars.

"I like to come and support the fire company and kind of mingle with friends," Fink said.

Marty Adams, 36, of Hagerstown, said he's attended a number of Hancock Volunteer Fire Co. events with his brother and friends.

"It's a great time. They are good to us," Adams said. "These guys are all volunteers, doing what they do. They are not paid people. That says something in itself."

Adams, who said he collects guns, won a classic rifle.

A resident of Silver Spring, Md., who was not present at the event and did not wish to be identified won the grand-prize Cruze.

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