Hats off to Hands Off!

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0924handsofffoodweb

I’ve been involved with Chatham Chrysler’s Hands Off! event for three years now, and I must say this year’s event brought a very positive wrinkle that surprised everyone.

Organizers asked contestants to call up their pals and relatives Friday to bring down non-perishable food items for one of the participating charities, St. Vincent de Paul’s Brown Bag Lunch program.

Chatham Mazda from Chatham Voice on Vimeo.

They’d hoped to get enough goods to fill a table. What they received instead was an avalanche.

The contestants had between noon and 9 p.m. to get the goods in the door. What ultimately happened was their accomplices filled the activity room at the dealership with cases of water, canned goods, boxes of noodles, cereal, you name it. I’m told when one of the volunteers from the Brown Bag Lunch program came in and saw the huge number of donations, she broke down in tears.

The folks at Chatham Chrysler were beaming Saturday morning, and with good reason.

Contestants also brought in more than $9,300 in fundraising prior to the event’s start.

FireFest a winner with families

The annual FireFest suffered through some crappy weather Saturday, as rain came and went over the course of the day, but it didn’t seem to stop families from coming out to take it all in.

I stopped by to check out the Junior Fire Challenge, among other things, in the morning. With the help of a great group of Union Gas volunteers, a lot of young local lads and lasses enjoyed a tremendous experience.

They dressed up in junior firefighter gear, had to run an obstacle course, then knocked down a “fire” before running into the “building” to save an infant.

Some of the kids needed encouragement and support, while others roared through the course, eager to control a fire hose.

It was quite the cute sight.

Another great sight was looking down King Street and seeing all the folks taking in the display of about five dozen fire trucks and other emergency vehicles.

Be sure to check out our photo gallery.

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