City firefighters hopeto raise $10k for needy

NASHUA – Snow may have stopped bells from ringing last Saturday, but it hasn’t stopped some firefighters in their mission to raise money for local needy families.

Nashua Fire Rescue personnel will be giving their all this weekend to get people to give their all toward The Salvation Army’s annual bell-ringing campaign.

Despite losing a day of fund raising to last weekend’s storm, firefighters and other personnel from the department are determined to raise $10,000 for the campaign while ringing bells at the Christmas Tree Shop at the Nashua Mall.

Friday and Saturday are the last two days department personnel have to raise the money needed to reach that goal. The group regularly spends three weekends a year in front of a selected store to raise money for families in Nashua and other local towns.

“It is definitely a cause that is near and dear to our hearts,” said Nashua Fire Rescue dispatcher Sharyn Hill.

The nor’easter had an impact on all of the bell-ringing efforts last weekend, said Maj. Carl Carvill of The Salvation Army.

“We got killed by that storm,” Carvill said.

The agency was already having a difficult time staffing all of its 30 bell-ringing locations when the storm hit, he said. The need is greater this year, as an increasing number of families have been requesting first-time services from the agency, Carvill said.

“For whatever reason, this is a tough time,” he said.

With a little more than two weeks left in the campaign, Carvill is hoping folks will give generously of their money or volunteer time to help make up for the loss.

“It’s really crunch time,” Carvill said. “This is the time we really need people to step up and help.”

The bell ringers typically work during two shifts – 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Volunteers may call The Salvation Army at 889-5151.

“Any group or individual willing to give half a day or day, we will put them to work,” Carvill said.

Although they lost Saturday to the storm, Hill said Nashua Fire Rescue personnel bundled up to ring bells in the cold last Friday, helping to reach the halfway mark toward their goal.

This weekend, the department volunteers plan to be clanging away in front of the store from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Hill said, and some fire department personnel are even ready to provide entertainment.

On Friday from noon-4 p.m., Nashua Fire Rescue Lt. Mark Proulx, who is also a disc jockey, will be spinning Christmas records, singing and may even dance a jig or two to earn a few extra bucks for the cause, she said.

Even Hill said she is prepared to get into the spirit.

“I may have to dance better than him,” she said. “We’ll put on our fire boots and see what we come up with.”