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  • Writer's pictureNonprofit Learning Lab

Fundraising and Firefighters

This is a guest blog post and is being posted with permission from Beacon Design.

The Purcellville Volunteer Fire Company (PVFC) and Beacon Design have been partnering up to raise funds since 2011. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Perdue. Scott has been a volunteer firefighter for over 10 years. His passion for the work he does at the fire company is undeniable. What is even more amazing about Scott is that he also works at a full-time job, has a family, trains volunteers on weekends and handles the fundraising efforts for the station.

PVFC History

In 1923, PVFC (located in VA, 45 miles out of Washington, DC) was establish after a series of massive fires. The town’s goal was to provide a variety of fire and emergency services to Loudoun County and surrounding areas. The station is a non-profit organization that is operated by over 100 men and women volunteers. Most volunteer up to 60 hours per month. Not to mention, these amazing volunteers staff their own emergency trucks including: 1 engine, 1 rescue engine, 1 tanker, 1 jeep, 1 tower, 1 brush truck and all of their own equipment!

Fundraising & Partnerships

Scott began volunteering at PVFC about 10 years ago and immediately had fundraising ideas for the station. A local retailer mentioned Beacon Design by ChemArt and he contacted us to share his vision for fundraising.  Soon after, his first ornament came to life. The first two years his ornaments sold out and the rest is history. The fire station now has a large following of ornament collectors who are always eager to know what and when the next annual ornament will be available. Almost all of the money PVFC raises is solely based on their fundraising efforts, so their annual ornament is incredibly important to the fire company. As Scott begins the design process each year, he mentioned he has to be as “accurate as possible”. He said “As a firefighter, we take so much pride in the apparatus that is being created. Each detail on the truck is so important to the station.”

As for Scott’s 2019 design, I have promised him that his secret is safe with me. What I can tell you is that Scott is thrilled he has already finalized his ornament this year. He says he owes it all to his Beacon Design sales representative. He is always very satisfied with all of the final pieces that he has designed and looks forward to working with our team each year.

PVFC Fundraising

Once the annual ornament is complete, Scott takes to the streets to hand out the ornaments to local businesses. They graciously help him sell his ornaments each year. What’s important to understand about this town is that everyone knows someone who volunteers at the station and because of this, Scott is always able to find support. In addition to selling the ornaments at local businesses, PVFC opens their seasonal Christmas tree lot each year where they also sell fresh Fraser Firs from North Carolina. Every year, customers will continue to ask Scott who makes their ornaments. He says, “If they’ve never heard of Beacon Design, I tell them the company who makes the White House ornaments”. This remains a huge selling factor for him because the White House ornaments are something customers can identify with. Even with all of the effort that goes into creating and selling the ornaments, Scott says, “It’s not the profit we’re concerned about, it’s what it does and how people react to it. The community has the desire to want the ornament.”

The Future

The Purcellville Volunteer Fire Company works tirelessly to keep their town safe. They also do whatever they can to keep themselves visible and find ways to raise funds for the station. Whether it be their annual parades when the station’s vehicles cruise the streets or rides for children, these volunteers are truly heroes. It’s very important to the station that they are out there allowing others to realize that they are all volunteers. Scott said for him “The most rewarding part of my job is helping others and volunteering my time. ” In the future, Scott hopes to retire and spend more time on the administrative side where he can focus more on fundraising for the station and finding ways to bring new volunteers in. He has many ideas for future ornaments that he’d like to design to raise funds throughout the year.  Scott admits that “these ornaments are my baby” and even if he wanted to stop, he doesn’t think he ever could.

Soon after our conversation, Scott sent me this picture below to show me how much he truly loves his ornaments!

Contact Beacon Design to learn more about custom ornament creation!



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