Fire department receives community support through weekly 50/50 raffle

Robert Fisher photo The fire station in Saint Andrews.

SAINT ANDREWS – For almost a year, the Saint Andrews Fire Department has participated in New Brunswick Firefighters’ weekly online 50/50 raffle.

Fire departments across the province fundraise throughout the year. Sometimes it’s small equipment they need, and other times they require substantial funds for larger needs. After the government approved online 50/50 raffles in October 2021, the Saint Andrews Fire Department became an early participant in the online Rafflebox draw.

Fire chief Kevin Theriault reached out to the Salisbury station after noticing their participation in the raffle through Facebook.

“It’s a great fundraising idea,” he said. “You almost feel the love from the people as they buy the tickets. It’s been quite successful for us.

The chief estimated the station has brought in approximately $2,000-$3,000 as a result of the raffle.

Prior to participating in the weekly raffles, the station typically held an annual July 1 breakfast at the hall and golf tournaments in previous years, however the 50/50 raffle is a more efficient and beneficial program.

The composite department includes 28 volunteers and Theriault, the one full-time employee. On average, the station has 25 to 32 active volunteer firefighters.

They’ve worked to notify the community about the raffle, however Theriault felt there was more he could do to spread the word.

Every week, on Thursday evenings, the draw occurs and winner announced on the NB Firefighters/Pompiers 50/50 page on Facebook.

“We try to share it at least two to three times a week,” said Theriault, about the upcoming draw.

Two of this year’s winners were local to Saint Andrews.

“It’s good to see local winners,” he said. The raffles are mutually beneficial to the station, and the surrounding community.

The Saint Andrews Fire Department has both small and larger equipment and needs, which the funds will allow them to acquire and address. Theriault said they will be a “great advantage” to the department.

Regardless of the weekly winner’s location, ticket sales always go back to the department of the ticket purchaser’s choosing. Of the ticket proceeds, 35 per cent is given back to the station the purchaser chooses to support while 50 per cent of the proceeds go to the weekly winner. The other 15 per cent goes toward administration costs.

Theriault is eager to see New Brunswick’s Firefighters 50/50 catch up to that in Nova Scotia, seeing progressively bigger draws as more stations continue to get involved.

Tickets can be purchased weekly at www.nb5050.com.

heatherknight@stcroixcourier.ca