The Fire Hall Kitchen and Tap, for the second year in a row, will be running their Happy Camper program, sending kids to summer camp in May and they are doing some fundraising to help get them there.
As they did in 2018, on Thursday, April 25 $1 from every single pint sold will go towards the cause, plus they’ve also partnered with Nelson Brewing Company and all month long, $1 from every pint of NBC’s aptly named Happy Camper Summer Ale will help out as well.
Jesse Roberts, one of Fire Hall’s owners told the Townsman that when they started the business they soon discovered that they were frequently met with requests to sponsor different events in the community. While they never shy away from sponsoring or donating to existing causes, Roberts said he wanted to create something that was solely their own.
“We wanted to create something that was close to our hearts, that represented a need in the community that we could fill and a need that was really important to us. And that was getting kids outside,” Roberts said. “Getting poor kids away from poverty and getting rich kids away from iPads if that’s kind of a simple way of looking at it, and letting them get dirty and letting them play around and letting them be kids.”
The owners came up with Happy Camper Day and decided to call up Blue Lake Camp, who were immediately on board with the idea.
“They’ve been awesome to deal with and they’ve really become our partners on the event,” said Roberts.
Last year Blue Lake opened up a special fall camp exclusively for their Happy Camper program and Fire Hall sent 31 kids to camp, to enjoy countless activities, a campfire and music from Dawson Rutledge. Roberts and fellow owner Fred Williams came along as honorary counsellors and brought their kids as well.
“For us to go out, and to take our kids as well — it’s just the best experience you can have,” Roberts said. “This is our favourite thing we do all year. So we’re going to out out there for sure, it’s a super important day to us.”
They hope to increase the number of kids they send to camp this year from 31 to as many as 60, which is why it’s so great that NBC got on board. In total, Fire Hall hopes to raise about $3000, which covers the cost of actually sending the kids to camp, but the owners also contribute substantially out of pocket as well. They also hope to do another event this year in the fall.
In addition to the day at camp, last year kids all got tickets to climb at ARQ Mountain Centre and passes to the swimming pool, plus a whole bunch of Fire Hall swag, like hats and T-shirts. So the combination of their own contributions, the assistance from Blue Lake, and all the pints sold plus contributions collected in a donation box set up at the bar, equates to an amazing comprehensive experience for the kids.
Kids are nominated to go to Happy Camper Day by people who follow Fire Hall on social media.
“It is the exact right kids that get to go,” Roberts explained. “Either kids that really deserve to go because they’ve been just killing it lately, or the kids that really need to go because they’re having a really hard time.”
“There’s so many memories that I have as a child that children today don’t have or don’t have enough of,” Roberts added. “Because their nose is buried in technology, or maybe their parents just don’t have the resources to make those things happen.”
So get on down to the Fire Hall on Thursday, because who doesn’t like to drink a beer to support a good cause? And, if beer isn’t your cup of tea, traditional donations are accepted all month long as well.
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