7/19/2013 2:54:00 PM Dunk tank raises funds for fallen Prescott crew
OPD chief Steve Dunnagan gets ready to dunk sheriff Doug Barger. Photo by Briana Alzola.
When it comes to helping others, the volunteers at Adams County Fire District No. 5 are really willing to take a dive. The volunteers climbed up onto a dunk tank at the city's Fourth of July celebration and offered passersby the opportunity to throw a few baseballs and take a swing at letting them take a dip in the tank. Money was collected in one of the department's fire boots. Donations of any size were collected, granting the donor three baseballs each. All the money collected, more than $800 so far, will go to the families of those 19 firefighters who lost their lives battling the fires in Arizona June 30. The fundraiser was wildly successful, Erika Heist, with the department, said. Adams County Sheriff Doug Barger, also a volunteer firefighter, was the first to step up onto the tank. He wore the shirt from his uniform, attracting a crowd, people wanting to take a turn at dunking leaders in law enforcement. The first to step up and offer a donation to attempt to dunk Barger wasn't just attracted to the idea of taking out a leader in law enforcement - he was one. Othello Police Department chief Steve Dunnagan stepped up to the chance to make the sheriff take a swim. It wasn't just volunteer firefighters who took to the platform for charity. Othello mayor Tim Wilson also volunteered to get wet to help raise some money. Then, the assembled crowd could pay to have a certain firefighter or certain member of their family or friends take the dunk seat. The department decided to do the fundraiser when they received an email from the Association of Washington Fire Chiefs. The email urged fire districts across the state to donate to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, which helps to donate money to the family of those who lost their lives fighting blazes across the country. It was such a great cause that fire chief Gary Lebacken helped them get a dunk tank so they could take advantage of the hot weather and crowds in the park, Heist said. The fundraiser was so successful the department is looking into building a dunk tank of their own or buying it so they can use it again for fundraisers in the future, especially in the summer months.