DEXTER, Maine — The annual Dexter Fire Department auction gets underway Thursday, Aug. 1 at the Watering Hole parking lot — the site of the former Dexter Shoe factory — and finishes Saturday night when everything will be “going, going, gone.”
Fire Chief Matt Connor said donated items are coming in steadily from civic-minded businesses and generous individuals. “The auction has been going on for many, many years at the same time every summer, so people are pretty used to it,” Connor said.
The biggest attraction is not just the number of items, but the variety. “We auction off loads of gravel, food, tools, appliances, sporting goods and plenty of furniture,” said the chief. “One of our biggest donors this year was Scavenger’s (antiques). They gave us about 11 or 12 truckloads of stuff.”
Just about every merchant in town participates in some way, Connor said. “Florists, banks, service stations and many stores will donate gift certificates and those are popular items,” he said. Many residents will give leftover items from their summer yard sales to the firefighters’ fundraiser.
Money raised from the auction goes toward buying equipment for the department above and beyond what’s allocated in the municipal budget, Connor said. “For example, we bought a new set of Jaws of Life last year for $26,000. Some money we raise this week will go toward paying that off,” he said. Past auctions have helped pay for turnout gear, replacement hose and nozzles.
“We start at 6 p.m. each night (Thursday through Saturday) and we don’t stop on Saturday night until we get rid of everything,” said the chief.
Connor praised the volunteers who have been soliciting donations and picking up merchandise for the auction all month. “We have guys who work all day; and when they’re not doing fire training, they’re out picking up donations. And we’ve had some fire calls this month, too,” Connor said. “We have a very dedicated department.”
Anyone who has items to contribute can contact Connor at 270-1776, Danny Grant at 520-7200, Rick Fanjoy at 924-3393 or Wilfred Murray at 924-7906.