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Appleton VFD receives donation

Thursday may have been an ordinary day for most people in the Appleton community, but no day is ordinary for the Appleton Volunteer Fire Department – and Thursday was no exception.

AVFD Chief Helen Jackson and long-time department member Ginny  Tyler made a trip to Wind Creek Casino, but not for the reasons many people go.

Tyler said they got the call recently that the department would be receiving donated funds as a first-responder organization.

“Michael (Tyler) signed us up for the donations at Wind Creek way back,” Tyler said. “I didn’t think we would get anything, especially when the casino closed down in March. We knew that we were designated to get something for the March donations, but when they had to close down early in March because of COVID-19, I didn’t think we would ever get anything.”

Tyler couldn’t have been more wrong. A phone call last week proved her idea of receiving nothing from Wind Creek was blown out of the water.

“When they called to set up getting something to us, I was a little shocked,” Tyler said. “When I asked how much we would be getting, I was completely shocked and happy at the same time.”

The shock of receiving  more than $8,300 as a gift or donation would leave most people wondering what to do with the unexpected money.

“We have plenty we can use the money for,” Tyler said. “Expenses can get pretty tough, especially insurance we have to have in place.”

Funding for the donation was made possible through the daily donations of unused tickets by patrons at the Atmore casino. Tyler said when the casino reopened requiring face masks for patrons, masks were sold with funds from the sales being earmarked for first-responders.

“People who play at the casino may have a few cents left on a ticket that they don’t use,” Tyler said. “There is a drop box in place for people to donate those tickets. I had no idea it would have been that much. I was really surprised.”

Tyler said the department is currently in the middle of renovating the fire house and has work left to do there. Also, the group recently purchased a new-to-them used fire truck they are still working to pay for, she said.

“This is a wonderful thing,” Tyler said. “We didn’t think we were going to get.”

Appleton Volunteer Fire Department’s headquarters are located on Appleton Road at Mason Millpond Road and serves all of the Appleton Road and surrounding area.