The Bracebridge Fire Department will be out in full force tonight with lights flashing and sirens blaring, but they will not be on their way to put out a fire.
They will be going door-to-door with a slew of other volunteers collecting food for the Salvation Army between 6 and 10 p.m. Anyone wanting to help needs to leave their porchlight on or listen for sirens.
Those unable to help tonight can also drop non-perishable food off at the Salvation Army Community Church at 456 Manitoba St. or the Royal LePage office at 100 Westmall Rd.
Officials say tis year, the Salvation Army is specifically looking for low-sugar canned fruit, canned soup, pork and beans, tea/instant coffee, canned pasta, low-sugar cereal, spaghetti sauce, Kraft Dinner, peanut butter, jam, instant rice, sidekicks, canned vegetables.
Deputy Fire Chief Mike Peake says he doesn’t know when the tradition started, but knows he’s been part of it for the 23 years he’s been with the department. “It’s always fun,” he says.
“We’re just the small fish,” he continues. “We have one night that culminates to the Salvation Army having a whole year of handing out food, potentially.”
Peake calls the Salvation Army and its many volunteers “heroes” for supporting those in need in the community year after year.
“We do it for one night, they do it all year,” he says.