President’s Opening Remarks – Campaign Kick-Off


Comments by R.J. Dowling President of the RHVFC and President of the Foundation at the gala kick-off August 16, 2019 at the Chesapeake Room of the RHVFC.

Good evening! My name is R.J. Dowling. I am a member and president of the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company and President of the Foundation. I want to welcome you all to our Campaign 2020 Capital Campaign kick-off event. Our host for this event is the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company FOUNDATION. Last year, this foundation was created in conjunction with the Fire Company, as a funding mechanism for major capital needs of the Company.
The Foundation is a separate 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation, legally independent from the Fire Company, and composed of senior Fire Company officers and highly regarded community members. Two community members, Mr. Danny Bramble and Mr. Trey Hill, serve as co-chairs for this initial effort, called Campaign 2020, a capital campaign with the goal of raising $475,000 to enable the Fire Company to purchase a used ladder truck and a new ambulance.
I’d like these gentlemen to rise and be recognized, with our sincere thanks.
I’d also like to recognize those individuals and businesses who have generously contributed as sponsors of this event:

• David A. Bramble Construction, Inc.
• Tolchester Marina
• Chesapeake Bank and Trust
• Just the Right Touch
• Lynn Hilfiker, Rock Hall realtor
• Rock Hall Properties
• Rock Hall Liquor
• St. Paul’s Parish, Kent

If these folks or their representatives are present tonight, would they please rise as well?
Finally, our thanks to the ladies and gentlemen of our Auxiliary who prepared and served this wonderful meal.
A few words about the Company:
• We are a 100% volunteer company, providing fire and EMS coverage to an area of approximately 150 square miles, from Fairlee in the north to the southern tip of Eastern Neck Island; from the Bay on the west to the Chester River on the east.
• We respond to about 700 calls a year, and the number continues to grow annually. As you can imagine, that’s a lot of interrupted plans, missed meals and sleepless nights.
• Emergency responses, training, maintenance and fundraising activities add up to about 14,000 volunteer-hours per year.
• For the men and women who choose to serve, it’s a huge commitment.
Now, why is a capital campaign necessary?
• The Company’s annual operating budget is approximately $550,000. Roughly a third of this comes from various State, County, and local governmental sources. The balance is generated by a broad array of fundraising activities led by Company members.
• This total allows us to fund our operating costs, our mortgage and other financing commitments, as well as a nominal capital plan which we recognize is insufficient to keep pace with major capital expenses we anticipate over the next few years.
• As I mentioned earlier, our campaign has 2 immediate goals: To raise $475,000 (to be combined with $75,000 set aside internally for the purpose) to fund the purchase of a used ladder truck to replace a 30-year old piece and a new ambulance to retire one put into service in 2003. Both pieces have served us well beyond their useful lives, and maintenance and repairs are no longer practical or even feasible in many cases.
So, where are we today?
I am delighted to inform you that due to the generosity of members of our community and the hard work of our co-chairs and Foundation members in the preamble to this kick-off event, we have already reached the goal of funding the purchase of the ladder truck, and delivery is expected momentarily.
• Tonight, we hope to keep our momentum moving forward towards our second goal of a new ambulance. For those of you who have donated to our campaign, the Foundation again thanks you for your generosity and commitment to your community.
• For those of you that have not had the opportunity to donate and would like to do so, now is the time. Please fill out a pledge card and send it to RHVFC FDN; Box 222, Rock Hall MD, 21661. If you wish, you can enclose your check with the pledge card or mail it to the Foundation. Pledge cards can be found on our website,
• Cash, checks, securities, pledges, and matching gifts are all appreciated, and a member of the Foundation will be happy to speak with you regarding various approaches you may wish to consider.
Remember. When that siren blows, those who respond are volunteers who love their community. Now we reach out to you, the members of that community, to say we need your help.
Again, thank you for coming and enjoy the rest of the evening.

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