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November events to benefit Chocowinity Fire Department

CHOCOWINITY — For a rural fire department, funding for equipment upgrades and maintenance often relies on the generosity of community members and the dedication of volunteers throughout the year.

The same can be said for Chocowinity Fire Department, and local community members will have a number of opportunities to support their local station in coming weeks, with events ranging from ongoing turkey shoots to the annual Christmas Expo hosted by the Chocowinity Fire Department Auxiliary.

This Saturday, the department will hold its annual barbecue plate sale from 11 a.m. until the food runs out. Plates are $8 per person, and all the proceeds will help the department with operations and equipment needs. The Auxiliary will hold a bake sale during those same hours.

“We use it to purchase things that our tax money doesn’t help pay for, like some of the updated equipment, maintenance on some of the tools and various different things throughout the year,” Chocowinity VFD Tommy Pendley said.

Nov. 23 will also be a big day in Chocowinity as the town hosts the first Christmas parade of the season in Beaufort County. Line-up for that event will be from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Chocowinity Middle School, with the parade kicking off at 10 a.m. The parade will proceed through town along U.S. Highway 17 Business, Bragaw Lane and then down N.C. Highway 33 back to the middle school.

On the same day, the Chocowinity Fire Department Auxiliary will host its annual Christmas Expo at the department. The expo will have upwards of 40 vendors, selling everything from holiday décor and art to jewelry and Tupperware. With the proceeds from that event and others, Auxiliary Vice President Tonya Avery says the group does everything it can to support the department.

“If they need an item and we can afford to help them, we try to help them out,” Avery said. “If they have a fire call, we try to go out and buy them dinner or lunch and make sure they have plenty of water. We’re a small-town community and there’s not many of us, so we do the best we can.”

The Christmas Expo will kick off with a pancake and sausage breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m., and vendors will be on site from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Avery says the event is a great opportunity to get in the holiday spirit while helping a good cause. Santa will also be at the Expo from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and $5 photos also help raise money for the Auxiliary.

“It’s perfect because people can come in, eat breakfast, shop a little while and then all they have to do is step out front to watch the parade,” Avery said.

Something new this year is the department hosting a series of fundraiser turkey shoots from 7 to 11 p.m. every Friday and Saturday from Nov. 22 through Dec. 14.

“The community and the donations are what help keep the fire department rolling,” Pendley said. “At Chocowinity, we’re blessed with everybody in our district that helps us with all our fundraisers. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have some of the stuff we have.”