MASON — The adage “Behind every good man is a good woman” might ring true when it comes to the members of the Mason Volunteer Fire Department.
The fire department ladies auxiliary has been in existence for over 50 years, being founded in 1963. Its main function is to support the department and its firefighters, according to Angelique Juelfs-Johnson, auxiliary president.
Juelfs-Johnson said for a while, the auxiliary wasn’t very active, but the past few years the organization has made a comeback. Auxiliary members raise funds all year long to provide the support needed, with its next big event coming up on Saturday, Oct. 3.
The third annual Craft Bazaar will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the fire station. Spaces are rented out to those who want to sell handmade crafts, primitives, sweets, or direct sales such as Tupperware or 31 Gifts.
The auxiliary members man the fire station kitchen, selling vegetable soup, chili, hot dogs and drinks. Soup is also available for takeout, but containers must be provided.
The bazaar is normally conducted closer to Christmas, but Juelfs-Johnson said the group agreed to have it sooner this year.
“We decided to do it a little earlier so both fall and Christmas crafts could be offered, she said.
The auxiliary will also have a presence at the Mason Harvest Festival on Oct. 17 at the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park, and recently completed a chicken-noodle dinner.
Funds from these events are used for drinks and ice when firefighters are on calls in the heat, and coffee and cocoa when they are called out in winter. Juelfs-Johnson said last winter during a major storm, the auxiliary members fed the firefighters a number of days when they were in and out of the station, not on fire calls, but helping the public in general with whatever was needed.
Money is also used for bereavement dinners when a firefighter or family member dies, she said. If enough funds are earned, the auxiliary sometimes buys needed equipment, such as fire hoses.
Juelfs-Johnson said the gratitude the men express is the motivation for continuing their efforts.
“I love that the firefighters have been thanking me lately for all the auxiliary has been doing for them, and how glad they are that we are active again,” she said.
Spaces are still available for the Oct. 3 craft show. The cost is $10 for a 10-foot space if the crafter provides his own table, and $12 if the auxiliary provides the table.
Juelfs-Johnson can be reached at 304-812-3166.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.