Charitable foundation pours funds into schools

Founded in 2012, the Oak Bay Fire Fighter Charitable Foundation raises money for local schools and other initiatives

Oak Bay Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation

Oak Bay firefighters will fundraise any way imaginable, from good old boxing bouts at Fight 4 The Cause, the annual tree chipping by donation after Christmas and high-end gala affairs – in the name of pouring that cash back into the community.

“Firefighters since our inception have been involved in community work,” said Greg Swan, executive director, Oak Bay Fire Fighter Charitable Foundation.

In 2012, Oak Bay joined the ranks of Victoria and Saanich fire departments that had already created charitable foundations. “Our purpose is to raise funds to give to other charities and advance education in schools,” Swan said. “Our biggest drive is to impact the kids in Oak Bay in different ways.”

Two years ago, Oak Bay Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation donated nearly $30,000 towards the purchase of a new school bus for Oak Bay High School.

This year they added $10,000 to the coffers of the Monterey Middle School parent advisory committee fund to develop an outdoor classroom.

“The work of the Oak Bay firefighters with our school community goes well beyond just fire safety, and we really appreciate the tremendous support they give to our school,” said Monterey principal Ken Evans.

“The school community of Monterey Middle has greatly benefitted from the commitment and generosity of the Oak Bay Fire Fighters’ Charitable Foundation,” he said.

“Every year they raise funds on behalf of Monterey and other schools in the community which support various initiatives that enrich our students’ experiences. Last year they went even further, hosting a special gala dinner fundraising event which brought in $10,000 toward our vision of developing an outdoor classroom to further connect our students to the natural environment as an integral part of their learning experiences at Monterey.”

Along the way the foundation offers cash donations here and there throughout the year to sports programs and other educational opportunities. “We hold an annual Christmas tree recycle in January and the money raised from that goes to typically five $500 bursaries at Oak Bay High,” Swan said, of a program whose roots reach back about two decades.

The firefighters’ philanthropy recognizes the world outside of Oak Bay boundaries as well.

They’re still involved with the other area departments through the Professional Firefighters of Greater Victoria Community Foundation that also includes firefighters from Esquimalt, Saanich, Victoria. “We’re involved with the four-core (fire departments) and the calendar,” Swan said.

That foundation pledged $250,000 over 10 years to the pediatric centre at the Victoria General Hospital and continues to make major contributions to Firefighters for Fox, British Columbia Professional Firefighters Burn Fund and the Mustard Seed food bank.

Oak Bay Fire also holds the traditional boot drive to support those with Muscular Dystrophy in May and firefighters volunteer for the annual CFAX Santas Anonymous drive. “The firefighters on their own time deliver food hampers and presents to families that are unable to pick them up,” Swan said. “We usually give Santas Anonymous a donation as well.

“It’s that inherent drive to help in the community,” Swan said. “It’s also a way for the public to see, to interact with the firefighters and meet us, understand what we’re about. But the driving force behind it is they want to help and knowing we’re in a position to help. The firefighter name does carry a bit of weight, we have the ability to raise funds, we have the public support.”

Learn more about the organization, or donate online at oakbayfirefighters.com.

 

 

Just Posted

‘Two ducks, five bucks’ for annual rubber duckie race in Bowker Creek

Oak Bay High Environment Club host event Saturday in celebration of vital Oak Bay creek

Esquimalt council green-lights first mass-timber building on Vancouver Island

Mayor appreciates 12-storey structure’s proximity to naval base, graving dock and Seaspan

Victoria beaches 1,560 pounds lighter after Surfrider cleanup

200 people came out to clean the beach on Earth Day

Sooke makes call for regional fire dispatch

Some municipalities decide to take service off-Island

Greater Victoria School District adopts new dress code policy

Two years in the making, SD61 moves to more inclusionary guidelines

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Amalgamation Yes hosting citizen’s assembly info meeting Wednesday at Vic High

Mayors of Victoria and Saanich will be on hand to give updates to residents

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of April 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

Most Read