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Auction raises money for Creston Fire Department

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Apr 05 2014 04:58:05 PM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

The 48th annual Creston Auction kicked off Saturday to support the Creston Fire Department.

The department has 25 volunteers on staff that serves around 7,500 residents in Creston.

Last year we're told the department responded to more than 250 calls.

The auction fundraiser brings in over $30,000 for the department, and they couldn't serve without it.

Rapid fire from an auctioneer, sounding off for hours was heard today in Creston for their annual auction.

The money supports their volunteer fire department, funding essentials for the costly and critical business of keeping people safe.

"It costs about $5,000 to outfit someone to enter a structure that's on fire,” said Creston Fire Captain Joe Brenneman.  “You need to have actually six people suited up to be safe so that's $30,000 right there."

From vintage cash registers to books, locals bring all kinds of things to Creston to be auctioned off.

They've been doing it for nearly 50 years.

"It was mostly farmers in the area and one of them came up with the idea that ‘hey we need to raise some money’ so they gathered together some equipment, a few hay bales and some livestock and I think they sold a pig and some hay bales and a little bit of farming equipment and they got $300 the first year," Brenneman said.

This is the Creston Fire department's only fundraiser for the entire year where they auction off hundreds if not thousands of items where they expect to see over 7,000 people over the course of two days.

Auctioneer Marc Vessar grew up around auctions in the Midwest.

He's been volunteering his skills at the Creston Auction for 13 years.

"It feels great to come out and help.  Everyone needs the fire departments around here and hopefully we don't need them but there always here and we need to support them as well," Vessar said.

"This is important for the community, it's important for us and it's kind of a cool community event," added Brenneman.

With another auction, it means another year that the Creston Fire Department can keep their citizens safe.