On June 4th the Oxford Volunteer Fire Department along with Doc’s Sunset Grille, hosted the 2nd annual “Big Al’s Gone Fishin” tournament as a primary fundraiser for the department. This tournament originated last year by the family of Alvin L. “Big Al” Ledford and was dedicated to his memory and for his love of fishing. “Big Al” Ledford served his community for over 40 years as a volunteer member of the Oxford Fire Department and was well known throughout Talbot county. Alvin served in numerous capacities throughout the department until his passing in January 2020.
This year $1,500 in cash prizes was paid to the lucky anglers and the tournament, along with the associated raffles and silent auction, raised over eight thousand dollars for our fire department. These funds will be put to good use in that the department is simultaneously replacing two major pieces of apparatus that are at the end of their service life. Engine 28 and Boat 20, both nearly 30 years old, are slated for retirement and will be replaced with updated and improved apparatus. The new fire/rescue boat in particular will have significant operational and performance improvements over its predecessor. The new boat will be significantly more capable to operate in severe weather and will have greatly improved capabilities during times of darkness with an onboard “night vision” system to safely navigate and search at night. The new boat will be a multi-role asset performing on-water fire fighting, search, rescue, and water supply missions to support land-based apparatus.
The Oxford Fire Department would like to give a big “Thank You” to all who contributed items or services used in the tournament’s raffles and silent auction. We would like to give a special thanks to the Tournament’s primary sponsors, Chooch Oristian of Doc’s Sunset Grille, Tom and Susan Campbell of Campbell’s boat yard and Steve Riedel from Roto-Rooter Home Restoration. Doc’s Sunset grille not only provided the tournament’s base of operations and administrative support, but also donated 10% of their receipts for the entire day. Campbells boat yard and Roto-Rooter Home Restoration contributed significantly towards the cash prize payouts and operating expenses. The generous contributions of these sponsors made this tournament both possible and successful. We look forward to seeing our local anglers again next year during the first weekend of June for the 3rd Annual “Big Al’s Gone Fishin” tournament.