The Somers Fire and Rescue Association was formed in 2006 to support and represent the interests of members of the Somers Fire and Rescue Department. It is a formal, state incorporated nonprofit corporation. According to its bylaws, all members of the Somers Fire Department who are in good standing are automatically members of the Association. Officers of the Association are elected by the members of the Department.
The principal purpose of the Association is to conduct fundraising to benefit the Department, community organizations and affiliated fire service organizations. The Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety and its summer camp for burn-injured children and the Racine Fire Bells emergency canteen service are two such organizations. The Association also conducts fundraising for organizations like the Salvation Army, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Kenosha History Center, American Red Cross and the St. Baldrick’s organization, which raises money for cancer-stricken children.
Equipment purchased for the Fire Department by the Association includes: a thermal-imaging camera; equipment for the department’s Specialized Rescue Team; appliances like coffee pots, televisions, a grill, an industrial refrigerator; and exercise equipment for the Department gyms.
The Association has also arranged discounts for the Fire Department in the purchase of a stove for the kitchen at Fire Station #1 and with repairs of the department’s ice maker.
The Association also aids the Fire Department with public safety, education efforts, and community relations. Officers of the Association have also assisted the Fire Chief with special assignments like writing grants and running the Department’s monthly meeting.
The Association is a registered 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, which allows it to accept donations that are eligible for tax deductions. Being a separate organization from the town government also allows members of the Fire Department and association to have control of how donations to the department are safeguarded and allocated. The association takes out insurance to protect itself from liability at fundraising events, to cover the property value of equipment it purchased and inherited, and to ensure financial prudence of the Association officers.
All members of the Fire Department are strongly encouraged to participate in Association fundraising and community events.
(Source: Information provided by Pete Wickland)
Muscular Dystrophy Association
The Association takes part in fundraisers that benefit charitable organizations such as the annual Muscular Dystrophy Association’s “Fill the Boot” Program. Fire fighters that participate in this program donate their time to stand at an intersection so passerbys can place money in the firemen’s boot. All of the donations collected go directly to the Muscular Dystrophy Association and is used to help fund summer camps for children with Muscular Dystrophy, help families affected by MD afford critical medical expenses and equipment, as well as help support MD research.
Wounded Warrior Project
This past year, the Somers Fire & Rescue Association also took part in the Red Shirt Friday Program. The program was set up to show support for our troops overseas. The Department sold red Somers Fire & Rescue shirts that had a message printed that said “Support The Troops”. The Department , as well as other departments across the country, will wear the red shirts until all the troops return home. All of the monies raised were donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that helps injured service men, women, and their families deal with the hardships of their injuries upon returning home from war.
Dinners & Refreshment
The Association also raises monies through fundraisers such as the Annual Spaghetti Dinner, Annual Chief’s Pork Chop Dinner, selling brats and refreshments at the Somers July 4th parade and selling refreshments at the hot dog wagon at the Somers Memorial Park during softball season.
An annual golf outing raises funds to support burn camp for children as well as some combined events with the Town businesses.
Fight for Air Stair Climb – Lung Cancer
Some members of the Somers Fire & Rescue go above and beyond group fundraising by participating in events such as the Fight for Air Stair Climb where members collect donations to run/walk the stairs at the US Bank building in Milwaukee. These donations go toward lung cancer research.
Members also participate in the St. Bladrick’s event where they raise money and shave their heads to help childhood cancer research.
The Somers Fire & Rescue Association also hold fundraisers, such as the one held at Uke’s Harley Davidson, where the Harley-Davison 110th Anniversary event was held in the Town of Somers. The funds raised went toward purchases for items such as milestone awards for members who have reached a certain number of years on the department, retirees, annual holiday appreciation party as well as small purchases such as TV’s or gym equipment that make the time spent at the fire station for paid-on-call workers a littler easier.
(Source: Information provided by Pete Wickland)