THE FIREMEN’S BALL, hosted by the Ruby Valley Chamber of Commerce, was an incredible night.
The Kentucky Derby theme did not disappoint with lots of action as derby goers cheered on their winning horse to win the 50/50 raffle! This fun night came together when the Historic Round Barn manager, Lacey Wood, expressed an idea to create a derby style party in honor of the racehorse that trained in the barn, Spokane. In an effort for the Chamber to create an event that would benefit all the members, businesses, and community of the valley it serves, Joy Novich suggested the Fireman’s Ball Fundraisers that were hosted in the past. A team effort, Ruby Valley Chamber board members Lacey Wood and Teen Holland took the reins to organize the event. “It just kind of came together. Let’s do it,” they both said. The special venue space was essential in setting the scene for a great night.
And a great night it was. History was made in the Round Barn, as the horse that crossed the finish line first was disqualified for interference. The 50/50 winning raffle ticket was picked out of the jar for the horse, Country House, a 65-1 odds for an improbable victory. The winning 50/50 ticket was won by Jackie Bevans!
The excitement over the derby theme continued with a hat contest. Mad Hatters from Twin Bridges, Ericka Kirkpatrick and Sheila Massar, judged the contest. Alexis Berger fashioned a fireman’s hat to take first prize in the Home-Made Hat contest, winning a Canty Boots gift certificate donated by Canty Boots of Harrison, Montana. Kiley Martinell won the Classic Hat division with a great peacock flower design. “That was one of my favorite things, seeing how people dressed up,” Teen and many others said.
Community businesses from all over the Valley donated pies and special cakes for party goers to bid on during the silent auction. Cakes by the The Old Hotel and Carol Wilcox, of High Tower Ranch, were the highest selling. The auction also included a 6.5 Creedmore Rifle donated by RW Outdoors in Sheridan, and a ½ of beef donated by the Hamilton Ranch of Twin Bridges. Mike Clark won the rifle and Linda Hamrock won the beef.
Pig Out BBQ’s Jason George & Troy Martin crafted the delicious dinner! Both serve on the Twin Bridges Fire Department as volunteers. They started in the wee hours of Saturday to create a tasty spread that filled party guests and fueled them for a night of dancing. There was a champagne toast to the fire chiefs and all the volunteers that make up their teams in the Valley: Loyd Carlson of Twin Bridges, Ben Hitchcock of Sheridan, and Dan Doornbos of Alder. Sam Platts and the Great Plainsmen had people burning up the dance floor with their lively tunes.
The great thing about putting this event together was hearing about how the departments have really saved the day on multiple occasions. From a grain fire put out in Silver Star, forest fires that were getting too close for comfort last summer, to tipped over cattle trucks on the highway…we really all benefit from their services. Hearing their stories reinforces their heroism,” said Teen. Each department expressed the need for firemen and are always looking for volunteers to train for service.
The Ruby Valley Chamber has had great feedback from the event. They plan to make this an annual Fireman fundraiser! The Chamber is a member-based organization that works to bring our local businesses together to build a stronger community through events that serve everyone. If you are interested in joining or learning more, contact Sara Gilman at 406-842-5239. Become a member and create an online presence for your business through the Chamber’s website & business directory, share your businesses events through their social media platforms, and help make the Ruby Valley a great place to work, live, and play!