Speake Volunteer Fire Department's recent Chicken Stew was one of the most successful the department has seen in recent years, according to Assistant Fire Chief Gunnar Walling, who has helped in organizing the fundraiser for the past seven years.
Profits from stew sales along with donations from members of the community helped raise $3,000 for the department.
"It was outstanding. We had a substantial amount of donations this time, which helps us tremendously," Walling said.
Money raised during last weekend's benefit will go towards the maintenance of Speake's two main fire engines, Engine 904 and Engine 905, he added.
Walling said both engines have recently been serviced at Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus, a fire department equipment supplier in Marshall County.
"We have trucks that have to be serviced and maintained, and we have bills that have to be paid," said Walling. "(Engine) 905 had to have a few gauges replaced, and a few other things; 904 had to have all new injectors. It was very costly to the department, but the chicken stew really helped."
Speake Volunteer Fire plans to host another fundraiser sometime in January.
"I want to thank our volunteers. Not only are they out there cooking stew the day of, but a lot of prep-work has to happen the day before. It's a huge process, and it wouldn't be possible if it weren't for them," Walling said. "Of course, our community always comes out to support us, which really makes it worth our while. We thank them for their support in helping us keep our fire department running to serve and protect Speake."