Food fundraiser reconnects Marydel VFC to community

Kayleigh Barr, left, and Karissa Barr deliver a food order to Sheila Diocco at the Wings and Things event on May 8. (Submitted photo/Marydel Volunteer Fire Company)

MARYDEL — The $2,500 profit was critical as the COVID-19 pandemic erases previous revenue streams, Marydel Volunteer Fire Company officials said.

There’s no quantifying the value of firefighters reconnecting with their community, but it’s surely worth a lot.

For five hours on May 8, a 25-member crew doled out pre-ordered food packages in the company’s Wings and Things fundraiser. Motorists arrived and stayed in their vehicles as their food was delivered during quick and safety conscious visits, according to organizers.

The company ordered more than 1,000 pounds of chicken wings, 100 pounds of pulled pork and 110 pounds of steamed shrimp fill roughly 110 to 115 orders, president Randy Barr said.

“We envisioned a drive through like you see at Chick-Fil-A and for the most part it was come and go, come and go, come and go,” according to Mr. Barr. “The only time it slowed up just a bit was when we had to change water for steaming the shrimp.”

After weeks of staying away from each other to help prevent the virus’s spread, Mr. Barr said the quick visits were well worth the time. Company members called area residents to promote Wings and Things and received roughly double the commitments they expected.

“We’re a tightly knit community and haven’t seen much of each other lately,” Mr. Barr said. “This provided an avenue for them to come out and see us and let us catch up with them.

“It was a great showing and to see all the people who came out and see us meant a lot.”

A new tanker truck is being built for Marydel VFC by the Rosenbauer company, along with a rescue pumper. (Submitted photo/Marydel Volunteer Fire Company)

Mr. Barr said the money earned will cover the company’s annual $1,000 scholarship award and be applied toward completing restoration of its antique fire truck. There’s also money for needed payroll and utilities as the bills and financial obligations continue to arrive.

The company is in the process of adding a new rescue pumper and tanker to its fleet, and every penny earned is significant, Mr. Barr said.

Without being able to host weddings, birthday parties, cornhole events, wing nights and wrestling shows, treasurer Les States said the company has taken a severe economic hit.

“This was a great supplement and a big help,” he said. “We had a very productive night and made some good money.

“I was glad for that because of all the work that was put in. I think it’s something more organizations should try to do.”

Following the success of Wings and Things, the fire company plans to “try it again,” Mr. Barr said.

“It was a long couple days work to prepare and then pass out the food, but by the end I was very proud of our members for coming together, never bickering and just doing what was needed to help us all out.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

Have a question, tip, or resources about the coronavirus pandemic? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll do what we can to provide answers.