Corning's Fire Hall will soon be packed with food and toys as the volunteer fire department readies for its annual Christmas Basket project. For more than 45 years the department has been delivering “Christmas Baskets” of new toys and the fixings for a holiday meal to less-fortunate families in the community, with help from Santa Claus and his firefighter-like elves of course.
From Dec. 1-12 the Fire Hall, 814 Fifth St., will be accepting names of families in need of the department's and community's generosity this holiday season. Applicants must have photo identification and proof of residency within the Corning city limits.
On Thursday, Dec. 17, the fire department is inviting the community to join them in wrapping and organizing the hundreds of new toys purchased and donated for its annual Christmas Basket project.
Now through Dec. 17, Corning firefighters will be picking up food and toys donated by schools, clubs, and groups, selling raffle tickets and holding fundraisers to make this special project possible.
“We couldn't do it without the generous help of the community,” Fire Chief Tom Tomlison said.
On the day the Christmas Baskets are delivered, which this year will be Saturday, Dec. 19, utilizing two large U-Haul trucks and fire engines, Santa will come into town and help the volunteer firefighters present the food and toys to more than 80 families in the community. The effort takes hundreds of hours to organize and deliver all the seasonal bounty.
“Isn't this what Christmas is all about,” Tomlinson said. “It is a lot of hard work, but the volunteer firefighters of Corning, and the community, make it possible.”
Raffle tickets, at $5 at pop, are still on sale and available at the fire hall or from any volunteer firefighter. This year's prizes include a barbecue donated by McCoy's Hardware, Armacoating spray-in bedliner donated by Norm Zuppan, and three separate $100 gift certificates to SavMor. Proceeds from ticket sales goes to the Christmas Basket program.
Anyone wanting to donate food, toys or money can deliver the goods to the fire hall at any time of the day or night.
For more information call the Fire Hall at 824-7044.