• James Armstrong

Fired up for Hudson Fire Department Charity auction


History was made at the recent Hudson Firefighters’ Annual Auction as, for the first time, a women’s team donated four hours of community service to the cause. They were (left to right) Sheena Purcell, Dawn Croydon, Brigitte O’Driscoll, and Sabrina Lyon-Adams.

The annual charity auction organized by Royal LePage Village Hudson marked four decades of raising funds for the Hudson Firefighters Christmas baskets and the local food bank, Le Pont/Bridging. The event was held at the Hudson Village Theatre on Wednesday, November 22.

“We raised $21,000,” Tania Ellerbeck told Your Local Journal. “It was a wonderful turnout and a really good crowd with new faces.” Tania Ellerbeck and her mother, Janet Ellerbeck, have been the driving forces responsible for organizing the event annually.

“My mother has been doing this for 40 years,” said Tania. She recounted how her mother and Rosemary Farber raised $200 at the first event selling hand-knitted items and baked goods. “That began in the office of the Royal Trust Company in Hudson,” said Ellerbeck.

Though they didn’t’ break a record this year, Tania said the amount raised was up from previous years. Robin Pridham, owner of Pridham’s Auction House in Vankleek Hill, encouraged attendees to keep in mind the purpose of the auction.

“This is a really important charity event at a really important time of the year,” said Pridham pointing out there are residents in the area who are in need of assistance. “The flooding earlier this year had a devastating effect on a lot of families. Some folks have been totally wiped out. They have lost their homes and everything. Your donations really make a difference,” he said.

Each year, the Hudson Firefighters support the auction in many ways including the ever-popular selling teams of firefighters to the highest bidder throughout the evening. The teams of firefighters provide the winning bidder with four hours of service – with the proviso it is anything legal. This year, for the first time, the women firefighters had their own team on offer. In previous years, according to Ellerbeck, they were involved as individual members of the teams. Four teams participated with one team raising $800.

A new item in the auction catalogue celebrating the 40th anniversary of the auction was a dinner prepared and served by Royal LePage Village agents.

“We will have to meet with the bidder and choose a reasonable menu,” said Ellerbeck noting the advantage of having Chef Samantha Vance as one of the members of the group preparing the meal.

Other highly popular items were Margaret’s Baked Beans and Margaret’s Brownies. “The brownies went for about $25 a piece,” said Ellerbeck with a chuckle. She said the results of the auction provide support to over 50 families across the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region.

“We are so thankful to all the people who have donated items for the auction and all those who came out and bid crazy prices,” she added.

Ellerbeck said it’s never too soon to think about next year.

“We start planning months ahead of the date.”

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