Every person in our community has felt the impact of the COVID 19 Pandemic. So much of what we took for granted in 2019 has completely changed. Social distancing has ended or at least suspended events throughout our communities. One such group of events were those organized by the volunteer fire companies to bring their communities together and to raise operating funds. Oxford Fire Company (OFC) is no exception. Founded over 90 years ago, the Oxford Fire Company Auxiliary (OFCA)’s purpose has always been to support OFC so that they can focus on their public safety mission.
Seeing the challenge, the OFCA stepped in to help fill some of this void created by the Pandemic. Through virtual meetings, and socially distant working groups, they organized and created. A website was built as new venue for sales. When masks were difficult to obtain, they made them by the thousands and distributed them through local restaurants and stores. Drive through sales with online ordering replaced various in-person venues. The long running Oxford Fire Company Antique Show was replaced with a “No Show Antique Show” that pulled together the many sponsors and advertisers who have supported that show annually to continue that support.
The 70+members of the Oxford Fire Company Auxiliary donated over 3900 of hours during 2020 in this effort. All that imagination and energy coupled with the amazing support and generosity of the community paid off. On February 6th Pam Baker President of OFCA presented to Tim Kearns, President of the Oxford Fire Company a check for $48,000, a contribution that matches the amount the Auxiliary has raised in “normal” years.
While we all have hopes for the coming year, none of us know what challenges it will bring. You can however be sure that on phones, the internet and in the home workshops of Oxford, members of OFCA are working on ways for them to help The Oxford Fire Company meet those challenges.