The Telico Volunteer Fire Department is working toward the finishing touches on its annual barn dance fund-raiser which will be held Sept. 29.

The event serves as the main fund-raising effort for the department and proceeds are used to support the department with maintenance and operation costs throughout the year. The annual get-together is a community favorite and an asset to the department.

"The community has always been great about supporting us and making sure we get everything we need to be successful and we are asking for their continued support. Without the funds raised by this event, the department might not be able to provide the important and life-saving support the community deserves," said Josh Slovak, fire department volunteer.

This year the fund-raiser is especially important because the department needs to meet its obligation to FEMA, which supplied the group with a grant to purchase a new fire truck. The department has to match the grant with five percent of the funds needed for the vehicle.

“Usually the event helps us cover expenses, which run around $8,000 a year, but this year we also have to come up with enough money to pay our part of the grant and operating expenses. We are trying to raise the funds ourselves so that we do not have to take out a loan and incur debt for the department,” said Charles Walker, donation coordinator for the event.

The truck that the department will purchase is a basic model and does not come with what Walker calls “frills.”

“The new truck is going to be great, but it will have the basic things on it. We are taking some of our old equipment to use on the new engine for as long as we can and have relied on the fund-raiser and grants to purchase the rest,” he said

The department is staffed by volunteers who use their own money for extra training and classes when grant money falls short of the total cost,” he said.

“We have participated in 420 hours of training this year and we strive to be on top of whatever new information there is that could help us protect our community and the people in it,” he said.

The department also helps the surrounding areas when called, including Ennis.

“It is a duty to help when called and we are fortunate to be able to call on the Ennis departments when we need help — and they do the same when they need us,” he said.

The Telico department is also included in the Eastern Ellis County Firefighters Association, which automatically responds anytime a call is registered in Bardwell, Central High, Alma, Garrett Rural, the city of Garrett and Bristol.

“We are all members of the community and we try to stick together because if one of us needs something, we know there are many others who have our back,” Walker said.

The fund-raiser will feature a BBQ supper, live music and dancing, as well as bounce houses and games for the kids.

Anyone interested in attending the event can contact (972) 878-2338 for more information.