By Wayne Campbell
It started out as a simple fundraiser.
A homeowner wanted to donate furniture and other items from the sale of her home to a local cause before the end of November. She asked the Central Station Education Initiative, a not-for-profit group restoring Welland’s Central Fire Station, for its help.
It arranged for a “fire sale at the fire hall” event in the Central Fire Station at Division Street and Hellems Avenue. It will be from 8 a.m. to noon, this Saturday, November 20.
Once the word got out, other people added donations to the garage sale and fine furniture event including hand crafted items, Christmas decorations and a painting. Money raised during the sale will go toward restoring the century-old Central Station, Welland’s main fire hall until 2006.
Central Station Education Initiative (CSEI) plans to set up a firefighting heritage display on the first floor of the historic three-storey building. It will rent out the upper floors to sustain the preservation project, which has so far received a federal heritage grant and local support. Work has begun on the building.
Donations can be made through the CSEI website http://www.centralfirehall.ca.
(Wayne Campbell is a retired journalist and a member of the Central Station Education Initiative board of directors.)