ALVIN, Wis.—Alvin Volunteer Fire and Rescue will celebrate its 14th annual Labor Day picnic on Saturday, Sept. 3, at Buchanan Park here.
Free musical entertainment begins at noon and continues until 10 p.m., according to Master of Ceremonies Bill Wilkinson.
“Every year, we ‘top’ ourselves,” says Chief First Responder Jane Spencer. “People plan their vacations around us. It makes me proud that we have a community that backs our fire department.”
Last year, approximately 2,000 people attended throughout the day. This year, there will be all-day activities for young people. There will be field games and prizes for those competing in the sack race, the three-legged race, the water balloon toss, kick-ball and a scavenger hunt for toys, which will encompass the park’s adjacent Wheelchair Walking Trail
The field games and the Firehouse Bounce House will be available from 1 to 5 p.m. for a contribution of $5 per child. There will also be table games for children: Pick an Ambulance, Sucker Tree, Bucket Raffle and grab bags.
The children’s events are coordinated by Sandy Spencer and Kylie Brneus and the Bounce House is sponsored by Mike and Kathy. Hintz of Dedicated Systems in Green Bay.
“We are hoping to have our shuffleboard court up and running for the picnic,” said Carol Stapleton, a long-time fire department member.
The concrete surface is poured for the 10-by-60-foot tournament-size court as well as for the 8-by-10-foot storage shed for playground equipment and a new cement apron around the pavilion.
The park also has a horseshoe pit, a volleyball field and a children’s playground.
As in previous years, “Salty the Clown” will visit and make balloon whimsies for young and old.
A family favorite, the “Pickle Rocket” contest, has accelerated this year into the “Torpedo Launch,” according to its coordinator, First Responder Wendy Graham, who advises, “Don’t miss this one!”
According to Town Chairperson Florence Kostka, who is also a department volunteer, “Alvin has a viable fire department with more volunteers coming in every year. We are making sure that every active member gets a pager that is compatible with the new 9/11 standards for narrow-band radio systems.”
A new department member this year is Linda Monson, a professional EMT/paramedic who recently moved into the area.
In addition to working for Ministry Health in Rhinelander, she is Alvin’s newest first responder.
Kevin and Ashley Harmon are new volunteers who have been in Alvin for about three years. Kevin lived in Alvin 10 years ago but moved to Milwaukee, met and married Ashley and brought her back.
“This is my second go-round.” says Kevin
Robert Mullis is also a new and active member who retired to Alvin several years ago from the Chrysler Corp. in Kenosha.
According to Fire Chief Gerald Gaspardo, “The picnic is the department’s primary source of income. It supports our effort to continue to serve and protect 115 adjacent square miles. We also provide mutual aid to several other community fire departments.”
Top raffle prize this year is a Marlin 45-70 1895G Series lever action rifle, donated by Dave and Linda Monson.
Second prize is a cut and wrapped pig, donated by the Ed Carley family.
Third prize is 10 yards of gravel donated by Paquet Excavating.
Fourth prize is three cords of firewood, donated by Piwarski Bros. Logging.
Fifth prize is a Mathews Solocam bow, donated by George and Judy Oaks.
Sixth prize is $200 cash, donated by Alvin Fire Department.
The entertainment program follows the 11:45 a.m. flag ceremony and invocation delivered by Rev. Herman Spencer of the Little White Church.
The program includes: Wayne Cave at noon, Donna Gaspardo at 12:45, Bill Wilkinson at 1:30, Chet and Ginny at 2:30, “Judge and Jury” at 3:30 and “Old Friends” at 4:30.
Following the raffle, DJ “Kowboy Kenny” will provide music until 10 p.m.
The Alvin-Nelma Women’s Club will sponsor a bake sale. As always, there will be beverages, burgers, brats and dogs as well as the traditional roasted corn. This year, watermelon slices will be added to the menu.
The picnic tables and benches will have a new coat of paint, thanks to the combined efforts of Arnold Stapleton, Elton Culver and the Bob Reed family. And Gary Stapleton, as for the past seven years, will have his pickup truck of firewood for people to take chances on guessing how many pieces of wood.
Buchanan Park and Pavilion is located three miles northwest of Highway 55 off Highway A, and is bordered by Whitt and Rock Dam roads.
Raffle tickets may be purchased from any department member or during the day at Buchanan Park.