News » Whistler

Fire Rescue Association Fundraiser great success despite theft of float

Organizers still hope thief will return $500 stolen on June 9



Kyle Bubbs of the Pemberton Fire Rescue Association saw the best and the worst in people last Saturday, June 9.

Bubbs was at Signal Hill Elementary School, taking part in a fundraising car wash. The event raised money for projects support by both the association and by the teens of Interact, Pemberton Rotary's youth group.

The two community groups had their best car wash ever - raising $1,700 which will be doubled by the Pemberton branch of Scotiabank to $3,400 - but Bubbs himself is out $500, after the personal float he brought for use early in the day was stolen as the volunteers were cleaning up to go home.

"It's not a huge amount. It's more of a kick in the you-know-what to steal from a fundraiser," he said.

"It's basically our vacation money. We go to Hawaii every year to hang out with our kids and we cash that in and it's our spending money."

What made the car wash unique was the ladder truck, which fire rescue volunteers brought to wash down vehicles. The float was kept in the front cab of the truck and the Interact students, from Pemberton Secondary School, dipped into it for change. There was no problem at first, Bubbs said, and the fire truck's cab doors had been kept shut.

"(The thief was) most probably hanging out a little bit, here and there, and saw the jar. I would say they saw a moment of opportunity between 4:30 and 4:45 pm. I was standing by the truck of the whole time and didn't see anything," he said.

The money raised over the four-hour car wash had remained in his pocket and hadn't been in danger of being stolen as well.

Bubbs waited a few days before filing a report with the RCMP in the hopes that the thief might show remorse and return the money. As of Friday, June 15, that hadn't happened.

Despite the loss of his own money, he remained happy and positive about the success of the fundraiser.

"We had great success on the day and motored through $1,700, and we sold hotdogs and burgers. It was the best and craziest car wash we've ever had," he said. "And Scotiabank's doubling it is great."

The money raised will be split equally between the fire rescue association and Interact. Bubbs said $500 of what the association raised would go to support a participant in the Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting the BC Cancer Foundation, which takes place between Vancouver and Seattle this summer. The rest had not yet been allocated. Interact's portion will go to support local and international charities.