WELLINGTON, PEI – Sept. 20, 2012 – The newly formed Wellington Fire Department Auxiliary is hoping its first-ever event – a huge indoor-outdoor Halloween costume party and dance for adults – will kick off its fundraising efforts with a huge bang. All proceeds will help purchase and maintain much-needed firefighting equipment.
The dance, featuring the rocking music of popular PEI bands Edge and Pretty Tragic, will rock out Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Wellington Fire Hall – both inside the hall where the fire trucks are usually parked and outside in its large, newly repaved parking lot, which will be fenced-in for the occasion. The hall’s huge garage doors will be wide open for the occasion.
The party begins at 9:30 p.m. and goes until 2 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes in individuals, couples and group categories.
Edge is a four-piece rock band based out of Summerside and made up of drummer-vocalist Moe Hashie, bassist-vocalist Andy Gallant, lead guitarist-vocalist Jason Arsenault and lead singer-guitarist Chris Ahern.
The band formed in 1999, but the guys have actually been friends and played music together most of their lives. Their camaraderie and musical connection shines through onstage, thus they quickly became a local favourite playing clubs and special events, including their regular EdgeFest parties. They released their first album called Revelation in August 2005; it produced three East Coast Top 5 hits: « Star », « Back 2 Me », and the #1 hit « I Can’t See You ».
Pretty Tragic is brand new to the PEI music scene but the members of this high-energy rock-pop band are no strangers to the stage. Vocalist Karen Penton got her singing start in Junkmale, performing throughout the Island over the past nine years. Lead guitarist Mike Penton started his music career plucking a bass guitar in Kickstart but decided he could rock an electric guitar too, so he did – in Cameltoe and Junkmale.
Over the years, bassist Ronnie Arsenault has played in various bands, including Tolerance and Cameltoe. Drummer Ryan P. Gallant found his niche playing heavy metal in the band Death Valley Driver, which opened for Metallica in Halifax 2011 and were the recent recipients of a PEI Music Award. The band performs a wide range of songs – from Fleetwood Mac and Katy Perry to AC/DC and Buckcherry.
Advanced tickets for this 1st Annual Wellington Fire Department Halloween Dance can be purchased at Ivan’s Garage in Abram-Village, at the Wellington Co-op, from Wellington firefighters or by contacting the auxiliary on Facebook (search by the event name). Admission is $10 per adult.
“Get your tickets soon as we are hoping for a sold out night!” urges Melissa Arsenault, spokesperson for the eight-person Auxiliary. “We look forward to your support during this benefit dance, which we hope to make an annual event. It’s our turn to show the firefighters our support and appreciation.”
She mentioned that the department’s volunteer firefighters put their lives at risk every single time their pager goes off and they respond to a call.
“Year after year, firefighters put in over 200 hours of training to ensure they serve you in the most professional manner possible. Their volunteer role is definitely not an easy one as they are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” Arsenault said. “They deal with difficult calls and have serious decisions to make on every single call. Many members of the community don’t realize the hard work and commitment our firefighters put in, until they need their assistance.”
The equipment used by the Wellington Fire Department needs upgrading, maintenance and repair on a regular basis to ensure they meet safety standards necessary to help when members of the community are in need, adds Fire Chief Christian Arsenault.
“The absolute last thing we would need is to get to a fire or an accident scene, only to discover that a piece of machinery that we would require to save someone’s life wasn’t working properly,” he said. “All of our equipment has to be in tip-top shape at all times but we have a limited budget to work with. So we really appreciate all the efforts that the members of the new Auxiliary are making to help us out.”
This spring, a group of eight women from the community decided to start an Auxiliary since they wanted to do their share to help the fire department but did not necessarily want to be on the front line fighting fires. They instead decided to organise fundraisers for the department. They anticipate several other benefit events every year.
CUTLINE: Wellington Firefighter Leon Perry, left, and Fire Chief Christian Arsenault clown around with a witch and a scarecrow from the department’s new Auxiliary as they prepare for the 1st Annual Wellington Fire Department Halloween Dance, slated for Saturday, Oct. 27, at the fire hall.
For more information:
Wellington Fire Department
Wellington Fire Department