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Ogdensburg Rescue Squad fundraiser gearing up

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The fundraising campaign for a new Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad building is about to be put in writing.

Squad Director of Operations Kenneth J. Gardner said Thursday that 20,000 letters of appeal will be mass-mailed to area residents and businesses at the end of the month as the squad attempts to raise funds to help cover the $1.6 million cost of setting up a new headquarters at the former Hackett Hardware store at 1223 Pickering St.

The goal is to raise $250,000 by the time the new building is ready for occupancy in November.

Mr. Gardner acknowledged that mounting a public campaign to raise money in a challenged economy was a risk.

“Absolutely,” he said. “These are tough, tough times. But we have no choice.”

No choice, according to Mr. Gardner, because the squad is running out of room at its current rented headquarters at 101 State St.

“We can’t expand,” he said. “Our lease is up in 2013. We just can’t wait.”

The squad expects to close on its recent purchase of the former retail store in two to three weeks. Bids for contractors’ services will be advertised starting today.

The campaign got off to a $5,000 start last month when squad member Charles F. Abel III donated that much in memory of his wife, Deborah, who died earlier this year.

A brick garden will be put outside the new squad building and will be named for Mrs. Abel.

The donation levels for what the squad calls “The Hands of Time” campaign are:

n General donation; under $60.

n Memorial garden brick; $60.

n Entry way column block; $600.

n Clock Tower Club; a single $6,000 to help pay off the loan and reduce the need for annual fund raisers.

n Naming opportunities (building rooms and features); $6,000 to $36,000.

For more information, call the squad at 393-0837.

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