Volunteer firefighter John Rufh

Colwood firefighters spearhead scholarship program

Last month's Denny's Restaurant donation will come in handy

Fundraising that once restored the past, now encourages the future.

The community-minded efforts of the Colwood Volunteer Firefighters Association, once focused on a legacy project to restore a 1944 International fire truck, continue. The now-gleaming vehicle rests, fully refurbished, at the Colwood Firefighter’s Historical Museum next to the No. 1 hall on Metchosin Road. With one project complete, the association turned its attention to education scholarships in 2012.

President John Rufh said with the cost of post-secondary these days, the association wants to do all it can to help young Colwood residents to further their education.

“It’s important for kids to get a break and not all kids can afford it,” he said. “If you can help someone out, that’s the best thing to do.”

All money from future fundraising events are earmarked for student scholarships, to the tune of $1,000 each. The money is raised partly through community partnerships with Colwood businesses, including the new Denny’s restaurant, which donated proceeds from sales of its Grand Slam breakfasts on opening day to the cause. The one-day blitz dropped $1,638 into the fund.

“We always like to have promotions that are within our own community and the volunteer fire departments are always key in any community,” said Colwood Denny’s general manager Mark Tweed. “(We like to be) involved directly in the community we are in … We want to give back to where we live.”

Denny’s sold more than 900 breakfasts that day, while firefighters passed a hat around. Donations from other Denny’s locations boosted the fund’s total for students, some of whom are their own employees, Tweed said.

Students can apply for the scholarships at their school or by filling out a form at the fire hall.

“Why wouldn’t you? It’s free,” Rufh said.

“If we can hand out three a year that would be spectacular. I like the idea that we leave … a legacy.”


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