The Eighth Annual Boots and Bullets fundraiser in Dayton on Saturday, Jan. 22, was a sell-out event, packing the Dayton Community Center with hundreds of supporters of the Dayton Volunteer Fire Department.
Through the sale of tables for 10 people and funds raised through live and silent auctions, and poker chip draws, a total of $76,580 in gross sales was raised with all proceeds going to the fire department.
“It’s not a small amount of money,” said Dayton City Councilman Alvin Burress, one of the event’s organizers. “It’s probably the biggest annual fundraiser, by far, for the fire department, and it’s all community-driven. We have the best community and fire department in Liberty County, in my opinion.”
Burress said that support for the event has grown over the years so much that the event is limited only by the size of the community center.
“We sold out every table and could have sold more but there is no more room,” said Burress, “but Civic Center Director Amanda Wilson and her team did an amazing job of setting up the community center for this event. I can’t thank them enough.”
The success of the 2022 event will hopefully offset any shortcomings from last year when it had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boots and Bullets was established in 2014 by City of Dayton employees, including retired Fire Chief Murphy Green Sr., retired Police Capt. John Coleman, Tammy Alexander and Amanda Wilson. The purpose of the event is to raise funds for the all-volunteer-based fire department, which also is partially funded by the City of Dayton.
Guests at the annual event are treated to a steak dinner with table sponsors deciding between two bottles of wine or a bottle of alcohol of their choice. Entertainment this year was provided by musician Austin Tellez and the band of Dawson Drake and the Blue Collar Boys of Liberty.
Burress said the event would not have been a success without the support of the City of Dayton, Dayton Volunteer Fire Department, Dayton VFD Ladies Auxiliary, and the organization team that includes John Coleman, Tammy Alexander, Fire Chief Chad Gladfelter, City Secretary Jennifer Billings, Firefighter Drake Lerma, and Amanda and Leon Wilson.
“It takes a group effort for this event to be a success. It takes a lot of work and preparation to get this event set up. I want to thank everyone for showing up and lending their support. We couldn’t do it without you,” Burress said. “Whether people came for a good time or to support the fire department, we are very thankful.”