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Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad looks for community support

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The Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad is preparing to send out fundraising letters to homes within its primary coverage area, the agency’s first letter campaign in three years.

Director of Operations Kenneth J. Gardner said in years past the squad as received substantial community support. “That is one of the real positives that we have.”

Mr. Gardner said the squad is planning to send out letters within the week, and the money raised will be used to help purchase equipment and keep the squad operating.

With an annual operating budget of roughly $750,000, Mr. Gardner said, the squad has come to rely on community donations particularly for equipment upgrades.

Rescue squad Treasurer R. Storm Cilley said that in years past the squad’s letter campaigns have raised, on average, between $10,000 and $15,000.

Mr. Cilley said the donations are “vital” to the operations of the squad.

“We’re not-for-profit, and any donation made to the rescue squad stays local,” Mr. Cilley said. “We count on people donating and helping us out.”

With close to 60 volunteers, Mr. Cilley said, “The donations are really what make the volunteers think the community appreciates them.”

Last year the squad moved into its new headquarters in the former Hacketts Hardware Store building at 1223 Pickering St.

Mr. Cilley said the squad is still adjusting to the new facility and is working on getting a tenant into the 36,000-square-foot portion of the building that is currently unused.

Because of that, Mr. Cilley said, this year the squad will be especially dependent on donations from the community to help them keep up day-to-day operations as they work to stay on top of mortgage payments in the absence of an additional tenant.

Donations to the rescue squad are tax deductible. Anyone looking for more information should contact Mr. Gardner at 393-0837.

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