John & Julie Teel, owners of the RE/MAX Lakeside Dreams office, have had an office on HWY 287 for over 15 years and wanted to find a way to assist the local volunteer fire departments (VFD) that support Richland-Chambers Lake. The team has formed a 501(c)(3) corporation called Benefit RC. Net proceeds from the event are allocated to five volunteer fire departments around the lake:
In 2017, they worked with several local volunteers and local VFDs to plan a fun Poker Run on the lake to raise money for the different fire departments. Since then, they have raised over $389,000 through the generosity of local businesses and residents.
Since its inception, this fundraiser has been considered a “highlight of the year.” The in-person Poker Run will once again start at The Harbor Restaurant with five designated stops on the lake that can easily be reached within a two-hour time frame. Participants will collect one token at each stop; Fisherman’s Cove Lodge, Fisherman’s Point Marina, and two floating stops; one on the north side of the 2859 bridge and the other near the 287 bridge. Once all tokens have been collected, participants will return to The Harbor Restaurant to receive their final token and then exchange all tokens to receive their “Poker Hand.” Each person’s hand will be recorded and a Leader Board will be posted. The restaurant’s new outdoor pavilion will be a wonderful venue for this popular event, as it will provide both shelter and a stage.
Anyone unable to participate in the poker run by boat may still register, pay the entry fee and receive a voucher to exchange for their hand.
For the 2023 Fuel the Firefighters Fundraiser, the $25 entry fee will include a brisket sandwich lunch (skillfully prepared by international barbecue legend, Kevin Bludso), the live and silent auctions and entertainment by The FOG, all of which will take place at The Harbor Restaurant and Marina. The silent auction will take place online, with bidding ending at the end of the event These items can also be viewed in person at the venue. A auctioneer will conduct a live auction from 1:30 to 2:30 on the day of the event.
The Fuel the Firefighters fundraiser gets folks out for some community fun, while benefiting the VFDs. You can “give where you live.” Each participant can designate which VFD gets the funds from their cash donations and entry fees, or split them up between all departments.
“Our VFDs rely upon your participation, donations and silent auction items to keep our homes and lives safe in time of need,” asserts Julie Teel, owner of RE/MAX LakeSide Dreams. “As with all fundraising events, volunteers and sponsorships are essential keys to success. Our goal is always to raise as much money as possible and we need sponsorships and volunteers to help ensure another great success. We also need donations for the Silent Auction and will accept them at both north and south side RE/MAX LakeSide Dreams offices starting now.
The following are the 2023 Board and Committee Members:
Julie & John Teel – Board Presidents Kay Bradshaw – Board Member Linda Denning – Board Member Bob Griffin – Board Member Laura Osiecki – Board Member Dan Wilkie – Board Member Miran Sedlacek – VFD Representative Jennifer Flinkinger – Fund Raising Co-Chair Lori Harris – Live Auction Chair Melanie Houchin – Silent Auction Chair Paul Osiecki – Public Relations Chair