More than a thou­sand pounds of food col­lected at Candy Cane Run

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Seven Persons - BY JAMIE RIEGER [email protected]­

Every piece of equip­ment in the Seven Per­sons fire depart­ment fleet was put to good use on Sun­day evening as vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers went through the com­mu­nity col­lect­ing food for the Medicine Hat and Dis­trict Food Bank and spread­ing some Christ­mas cheer along the way.

The Dec. 9 Seven Per­sons Candy Cane Run, is an an­nual event hosted by the lo­cal vol­un­teer fire depart­ment as a way for the fire­fight­ers to spread Christ­mas cheer, col­lect food do­na­tions, and raise some aware­ness to fire preven­tion.

Justin Derzaph, fire chief said they col­lect for the food bank be­cause it is an or­ga­ni­za­tion that serves the ru­ral ar­eas and the need for the ser­vice has been in­creas­ing.

"The need is there and grow­ing," said Derzaph, adding while they go to ap­prox­i­mate 100 res­i­dences col­lect­ing food and cash do­na­tions, they hand out candy canes and 9-volt bat­ter­ies for smoke de­tec­tors.

"Our goal is to spread some Christ­mas cheer, col­lect for the Food Bank, and do a lit­tle fire preven­tion," he said.

Each fire and res­cue truck was beau­ti­fully dec­o­rated and Santa had the seat of hon­our, on top of the fire truck, with a dec­o­rated vin­tage truck driven by Mani Eichel­baum and a hay ride car­ry­ing lo­cal kids and moms and driven by Clay­ton Knelsen ac­com­pa­ny­ing the pa­rade through town.

A num­ber of uni­formed fire­fighter walked along­side the ve­hi­cles as they passed every house, col­lect­ing do­na­tions and hand­ing out treats. Mem­bers from the Irvine, Walsh, and Box Spring vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments joined their fel­low fire­fight­ers from Seven Per­sons.

They col­lected 1,002 lbs of food do­na­tions and mon­e­tary equiv­a­lent for the Medicine Hat and Dis­trict Food Bank which serves res­i­dents in Cy­press County and Red­cliff, as well as the peo­ple of Medicine Hat.

THE MES­SAGE IS CLEAR: As was dis­played on the back of the fire truck, the Seven Per­sons vol­un­teer fire depart­ment wishes ev­ery­body a Merry Christ­mas.

Pho­tos by Jamie Rieger

While Santa Claus was rid­ing high atop of the fire truck, a mom and her lit­tle girl rode along in­side the truck.

Some kids and moms bun­dled up for the hay ride, that was be­ing driven by Clay­ton Knelsen.

Can­dida and Marvin Spack­man, rep­re­sent­ing the Walsh and Irvine vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments helped their Seven Per­sons col­leagues spread Christ­mas cheer and col­lect food items for the Medicine Hat and Dis­trict Food Bank. Their son, Bran­don ( not pic­tured) also par­tic­i­pated, rep­re­sent­ing the Box Springs vol­un­teer fire depart­ment.

Lo­cal res­i­dent, Mani Eichel­baum dec­o­rated his vin­tage truck and trav­eled with the group as they made their way to all the res­i­dences in Seven Per­sons.

Two mem­bers of the Seven Per­sons vol­un­teer fire depart­ment man the food bank truck that was do­nated for the event.

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