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Fire truck pull brings local airboat rescue efforts closer to finish line

Victoria Harbour event raises $15,363 towards purchase of airboat designed to help rescue people in all seasons

A local initiative to bring a rescue airboat continues to inch closer to its $300,000 fundraising goal.

A recent fire truck pull in Victoria Habour at St. Antoine Daniel Catholic School raised $15,363 for the Southern Georgian Bay Airboat Rescue team's efforts. Prior to the successful event, which saw hundreds of spectactors lining the school's parking lot to cheer on the teams showing their might, the fundraising efforts were just $47,000 of the overall goal.

Organizers noted that in one of the accompanying photos taken by Jordan Setterfield, the image shows a young girl grasping the rope connected to the fire truck, she embodies a powerful symbolism for this initiative.

"Despite her small stature, she fearlessly takes on the challenge of lifting the weight of the truck, not with judgment or fear, but with a spark of hope and determination," they noted.

"Her gaze is not clouded by negativity, but rather illuminated with possibilities and opportunities to make a positive impact. Just like a single light can inspire others to join and brighten the path to hope, her actions exemplify the essence of igniting change and lighting up the way towards a better future. It's a great reminder that sometimes, all it takes is one small spark of courage to ignite a blaze of hope in the darkest of moments."

They noted that it takes a "special kind of willpower, courage and heck, maybe a sprinkle of superhero strength" to drag that truck 100 feet across the finish line.

"Kudos to all the teams, volunteers and 500-plus people for turning a simple fire truck into a symbol of resilience and unity in the most epic way possible," they noted prior to issuing a big thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the event happen along with the all 19 teams for their "support, love, courage and compassion.

"Seeing the community band together for such a unique cause is truly heartwarming."

As for the Southern Georgian Bay Airboat Rescue initiative, it all began on a single winter's day in 2021 when three snowmobilers died in the waters around Midland.

And with two of those sledders, a father and son, dying near her home in Victoria Harbour, Christina Wood knew she had to do something.

“Imagine a life hanging in the balance,” Wood told Wideupdates last year ahead of an inaugural fire truck pull in Midland.

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Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country’s most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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