“We didn’t expect that many people,” McCoy said after the celebration.
In all, the department sold 250 adult barbecue brisket and sausage plates and 14 plates for the youngsters.
The volunteers serving eventually ran completely out of food.
McCoy said he was especially happy to see the turnout of supporters from the other fire departments in Bee County.
Kirk Delgado of the Beeville VFD arrived early with Beeville’s massive Tower 1 truck. He raised the tower its entire 100-foot height, making it easy for supporters to find the fire station.
McCoy said the department also sold all but 10 of the raffle tickets its volunteers had printed for their annual gun raffle.
Fortunately, the folks at Americana Arms in Beeville had offered good prices on eight different rifles and handguns for the raffle. And at $20 each, every donation made a tremendous difference for the department.
The event this year was a special one because the department was celebrating its 40th year. Two of the five charter members, Ivan Cordes and Robert “Bob” Horn, were on hand to witness the unveiling of a special bronze plaque honoring the founders.
Members of Normanna’s Beck family were also on hand to see the new sign over the door of the fire station.
The sign sported the name “Beck Memorial Fire Station” in honor of the family for donating the land on which the fire station was built.
McCoy said the money the department raised will help its members update the building.
McCoy had said earlier that firefighters had wanted to replace some of the corrugated steel exterior of the building with something a little easier on the eyes and something that would make it easier to heat and cool the building.
McCoy and Assistant Fire Chief Lyle Sanders spent much of their time walking around and thanking the hundreds of supporters who showed up for the special occasion.
McCoy said later that he was deeply moved by the number of folks who came to eat, make donations and purchase raffle tickets at the last minute.
But a lot of those who came to offer their support were deeply appreciative of the work the department has done over the years. Many of them said the NVFD had saved their homes, pastures and buildings.
McCoy said he hopes to organize an even better event for next year.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5220, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.