OXFORD - Oxford's volunteer firefighters are trying to raise a little money for the department.
Earlier this month, the Oxford Fire Department held its first fundraising event, a spaghetti supper, and on Saturday, volunteers are organizing a golf tournament.
The spaghetti supper raised more than $1,000, with which the all-volunteer department plans to buy more equipment, like flashlights and another defibrillator, after pooling it together with funds to be raised at the golf tournament and other future events.
"We have regular gear, but we need more to keep up-to-date with our department," volunteer firefighter Anthony Cofield said. "We need the community to help us."
Saturday's event will be held at The Oaks Golf Course, located at 11240 Brown Bridge Road in Covington. The tournament will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, but participants need to arrive at 8 a.m. The cost is $70 per player.
Players can register as four-person teams or individually to be paired with other team members. Registration is open to anyone interested.
More than a dozen players already have signed up to be in the tournament, and there is no limit on the number of players. Those interested in playing must register for a tee time by e-mailing their name, address and phone number to Cofield at email@example.com by noon Thursday.
The tournament, which the department plans to make an annual event, is a best-ball tournament that is expected to last into the afternoon, possibly ending about 2 p.m., Cofield said.
The group will have items for sale and also have a putting tournament that costs $10 per shot or $15 for two shots; the winner will get half the pot, with the rest going toward the fire department's fundraising efforts.
The event also features longest drive contests, a closest to the pin challenge and a hole-in-one shootout.
Four sponsorships are available. They include door prizes for each golfer, one costing $50 for a name on a thank-you banner, $150 for one of the 18 holes and a name on the banner and $500 for the drink cart and name on the banner. Sponsorship signs will be out the entire day of the tournament.
The Oxford Fire Department, which has two fire engines and operates on a budget provided by the city of Oxford each year, has one person at the station at least 75 percent of the time and has an average response time of four-and-a-half minutes; the department's call volume has increased 25 percent over the last year, Cofield said.
Many of the 17 volunteers are participating in rookie and engineer classes. Four of them have taken a hazardous material awareness class and serve as EMTs and have other certifications. All are trained in first aid and are being trained in first response.
"We are getting up there to be as good, if not better, as paid departments," Cofield said.
The fire department volunteers plan to hold more fundraising events every few months.
"These will help us buy and update equipment for all of the volunteers ... and it also will get us out into the community," Cofield said.
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: If you go
· What: Oxford Fire Department Golf Tournament
· When: 8 a.m. Saturday
· Where: The Oaks Golf Course, 11240 Brown Bridge Road, Covington
· Cost: $70 per player
· To register: E-mail your name, address and phone number to email@example.com by noon Thursday.