“We’re hoping to bring back something like the Normanna Days they used to have here,” said Fire Chief Sam McCoy.
Between now and July 26, BVFD members will be selling raffle tickets for a huge gun giveaway and getting everything ready for a massive barbecue dinner that day.
McCoy said members will be serving up plates of sausage and beef with all the trimmings for only $5 a plate. For kids under 10, plates will sell for only $3.
McCoy and his fellow firefighters, Assistant Chief Lyle Sanders and firefighters R.L. “Bob” Horn and Marvin Voss said there will be something for the entire family to do on the fire department property at 100 S. Bee St. just off Main Street in Normanna.
There will be a cake auction to help raise money and a moon bounce and water slide for the kids to enjoy while the adults are buying cakes and stuffing themselves on barbecue.
But again this year the big fundraiser will be the drawings for the gun raffle.
McCoy said gun enthusiasts will be lining up to buy raffle tickets at $20 each. And for those who invest $100 in a purchase of five raffle tickets, the department will throw in a free ticket.
Doubters only need to know some of the finest firearms on the market will be given away that day.
The weapons are being provided by Americana Arms, a local gun dealer.
Ticket holders will have a chance at winning a Smith & Wesson sport, AR-15 that can shoot both 5.56mm and .223-caliber ammunition, an ATI 1911 pistol that shoots .45-caliber ACP ammunition and can be changed out to fire .22-caliber rim fire rounds.
There will also be a Cimarron Frontier, single-action, .357 Magnum revolver, a Henry blued 30-30, lever action rifle, a Henry Big Boy 44 with a brass receiver, a Ruger Tactical Mini 14 and a Ruger 50th anniversary NRA 10-22, semiautomatic rifle.
The big prize will be a Thompson, 1927A-1 semiautomatic “Tommy Gun.”
McCoy and Sanders said the volunteers plan to spend the money they make on upgrading the fire station and shelters for their trucks.
Sanders said taking down the corrugated metal roof and siding will be the first order of business so that the volunteers can meet and keep their equipment in a better environment.
That would require replacing the steel exterior with something more energy efficient.
The Normanna volunteers have been working harder than ever now that so much heavy truck traffic goes through there on U.S. Highway 181. Most of the traffic is related to the Eagle Ford Shale oil field activity. Tanker trucks make routine runs through the tiny community on their way to the refineries in Corpus Christi and back.
Serious traffic accidents have become common in the Normanna area, the firefighters said. Their volunteers are routinely called to the scenes of the accidents to provide fire protection for HALO-Flight helicopters and to help direct traffic around the accidents.
Horn, who retired at the Bee County sheriff years ago, said the organization is part of the North Bee County Emergency Service District.
He provided a little history of his home fire department, saying the group was organized in 1974 after a home north of there burned to the ground.
He said the fire truck in Tuleta failed to start when that fire happened, and no one was able to save the structure.
The fire station was built on property donated by the Beck family, and Ivan Cordes was the main organizer and the first fire chief of the little department.
Today, the department maintains four emergency vehicles. Two of the trucks are housed in an open-sided pole barn a few steps from the main fire station.
Sanders said department members would like to make enough money this year to complete enclosing that structure on the sides to offer better protection for the vehicles.
Members also stressed the fact that they have been experiencing legal problems because of a former fire chief who ran up thousands of dollars in expenses for equipment that no one in the department ever saw.
The department has attorney George P. Morrill, III working on getting those problems solved.
McCoy said it is not unusual for some folks to buy up a large quantity of raffle tickets when they have a chance to win some really special guns.
Tickets are expected to go on sale soon, and information will be provided on how to purchase them later.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5220, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.