Submitted by Paul Hall —
COARSEGOLD — The Sierra Shadow Casters, MC (SSCMC) and the merchants of the Coarsegold Historic Village, led by Gma’s & Pappa’s Motorcycle Apparel, are hosting the “Next Firefighter Up” motorcycle poker run to benefit local volunteer fire departments on Saturday, Apr. 9.
The two beneficiaries are Madera County Fire Station 8 in Coarsegold (Road 417) and Station 10 in Yosemite Lakes Park (YLP).
What have been traditionally known as Volunteer Fire Stations, manned by Paid Call Firefighters (PCFs), are not generally thought about until you need them.
Gus Lavell, Company Captain for the YLP Station, told the SSCMC that his station responded to some 300 calls in 2015 for everything from structure and vegetation fires to medical calls and auto accidents. Capt. Lavell oversees 18 PCFs who all work a 9-to-5 “day job,” and remain on call year-round. Coarsegold’s Station 8 has about 6 PCFs.
Both companies are in constant need of new equipment or safety gear which is not always funded by the County due to budget constraints. This is the reason fundraisers such as these are so important.
“The average year consists of five fundraisers for Station 10,” says Lavell, typically raising around ten thousand dollars.
While this may seem like a lot of money, it goes fast given the high cost of equipment. Monies are also used for firehouse maintenance.
PCFs assist full-time Cal Fire and Madera County firefighters by staffing rehabilitation units at major incidents, and cover fire stations when full-time firefighters are assigned elsewhere. They participate in fire and EMS responses on an on-call basis, along with fire and EMS related drills year-round. They also play an active role in the Madera County Fire Department’s public education program.
PCFs give back to our community by protecting our neighbors and helping to educate fellow community members about fire and medical safety.
The “Next Firefighter Up” Motorcycle Poker Run will begin at the Historic Coarsegold Village in Coarsegold at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Apr 9. Motorcyclists from the foothills and San Joaquin Valley will gather to ride a predetermined route with five stops to draw a playing card. At the end of the run the person with the highest poker hand (and worst) will win a cash prize.
The ride will end at the Coarsegold Village where riders will be treated to a delicious Tri-Tip BBQ lunch prepared by the PCFs and enjoy the music of “Roadeez” the local YLP band sensation featuring hits from the 60s and 70s.
There will be a 50/50 drawing and raffle with dozens of prizes. There will also be a special raffle for a propane meat smoker, a BBQ grill, 48-inch TV and a beautiful ladies necklace ($600 value).
While the morning Poker Run is geared for motorcyclists, the non-riding general public is cordially invited to come have lunch and participate in the afternoon events at 1 pm. ($15 donation per person, children five and under free).
Station 10 will have a fire engine on hand for the kids to check out, Clawson Honda and Silva Ford will be there to show off some of their hottest vehicles, and there will be many other exhibits.
For bikers, a donation of $25 for the rider and $15 for the passenger is requested. You can pre-register on line at www.sierrashadowcasters.com or day of event at 8 a.m. The Ride starts at 9:30.
For additional info contact Paul at 559-660-6440.