The novel coronavirus has been frustrating to most and costly to many.
This week, Northumberland Borough announced it was postponing its new block party until 2021.
The Live United Live Music Festival at Spyglass Ridge Winery was also pushed to next year along with countless family reunions, wedding parties and the like.
Danville’s biggest summer celebration, the Danville Heritage Festival, is conducting its operations online this year.
The Middleburg Firemen’s Carnival, one of Middleburg’s biggest summer events and the largest fundraiser for Reliance Hose Co. No. 1, was one of the new additions to the list of cancellations this week.
Volunteer firefighters spend endless hours training, respond to alarms for fires, vehicle crashes and other human disasters at all hours, day or night, torn from their homes, awakened from sleep to save someone’s property or someone’s life, all for free. Because they feel a call to protect neighbors and their neighbors’ property.
Unfortunately, fire companies’ equipment, fuel, utility and maintenance bills are not free. Though they receive some money from governments and donations, most of the companies’ income comes from the money they raise through their social clubs, bars, food sales, bingo, gun raffles, carnivals and park rentals.
Local fire companies took a hit for the three months they closed their social halls this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. They, like most businesses, lost money and had to lay off employees.
Then, on Thursday, new orders from the governor forced the company’s clubs, which had just reopened, to shut doors again.
East End Fire Company Fire Chief Leslie Young said the Mahoning Township, Montour County, company lost an estimated $25,000 in social club revenue during the first shutdown.
“Without bar seating, limiting bar service to meal orders only, and limiting seating capacity even further, it is not financially feasible at this time to remain open for any kind of regular business hours,” said Lisa Saxton, secretary of the Rescue Hose Company in Sunbury, said Thursday. “The officers are having conversations regarding our next steps, including meal options and fundraisers. But any decisions and preparations will take some time. “
The fire company’s grill room closed again, but Saxton said emergency response services will continue without interruption.
Fire Chief Nick Fowler, of Southside Fire Company in Riverside, said that company probably lost $30,000 from bar revenue, and at least $50,000 from a combination of a lost carnival, wine fest and park rentals that all were canceled.
Fowler said the fire company pays $180,000 in fuel, utilities and other expenses a year.
This is a difficult time for everybody. Firefighters know that. They are going through it, too. Still, they are there, ready to help on short notice.
If it’s possible to show your appreciation for their dedication and sacrifices with a donation, do so. If not, at least practice safety, eliminate fire hazards, make sure your smoke alarms work and drive safely.
Every little bit helps.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by News Editor Eric Pehowic and Danville News Editor Joe Sylvester.