By JOSH VARDAMAN
Courier staff writer
---- — OTTUMWA — Get your dancing shoes out of the closet because it’s almost time for the annual Fireman’s Ball to hit Ottumwa.
On Nov. 22, the Ottumwa Professional Fire Fighters Local #395 will sponsor the 80th annual Fireman’s Ball at Hotel Ottumwa. The doors will open at 7 p.m., and tickets can be purchased before the night of the ball or at the door for $7.
Don’t take the name of the event literally, though. Although it is a ball, there is no dress requirement or anything of that nature.
“It’s not something you have to dress up for,” said dance chairman Joshua Reynolds. “It’s a reason for people to get together, listen to good music and raise money for a good cause.”
Most of the proceeds from the night will go toward the Fire Pup Program at the fire department. The program is a way for them to get in touch with children in the community and to teach proper fire safety. Through the program they give tours through the station and provide fun and informational handouts, activity books, coloring books and other educational items.
Thanks to the ball being so successful, the firemen have been able to fund their programs for many, many years.
“The ball’s been a pretty big part of our department for a long time,” Reynolds said. “It’s been an important fundraiser for us to buy coloring books and stuff for kids in the community.”
The night will be filled with dancing, refreshments and live music. Lonesome Road, a country music cover band from Cedar Rapids, will provide the dance tunes. According to Reynolds, he has seen the band play live, and they are “very good.” They will start playing at 8 p.m. and will probably go until around midnight.
There will also be items up for raffle and silent auction. Reynolds doesn't have a list of items yet, but local businesses will be donating.
The department is accepting both money donations and other products, and he said some places give away gift cards and other things. The item that will be raffled will definitely be something worthwhile, according to Reynolds.
“It’s usually a pretty good prize,” he said.
For more information, c the fire crew on duty at the Central Fire Station at 641-683-0667 Ext. 4, or the Southside Fire Station at 641-683-0665.
— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh