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Massena Fire Department opens doors for chicken barbecue fundraiser

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MASSENA - There may be a tad bit of snow on the ground, but the Massena Volunteer Fire Department has fired up its grill pit for their semi-annual chicken barbecue, which starts at noon today.

Publicity Chair Thomas C. Miller said today’s chicken barbecue, which is chaired by Matt Chontosh, is one of two they hold during the year to raise funds for the department. The other is held during the annual block dance and car show in July.

“We do two a year, one in February and one in the summer. We’ve always done two a year,” he said.

The cost is $9 a plate, and the menu includes a half chicken, baked beans, macaroni salad and dinner roll.

And, for those who don’t want to venture out into the snow, Mr. Miller said they’ll even deliver. They’ll start taking orders at 11:45 a.m.; call 769-2380.

Those who want to enjoy the meal had better come to the fire station early or arrange for an early delivery, he said.

“We have 350 halves. We typically sell out in no time,” Mr. Miller said.

While the fire department receives financial support from both the town and village of Massena, he said the chicken barbecues allow them to raise more funds for equipment to keep up with changes in personal protection gear.

“The money we raise goes for equipment. Obviously it’s for the volunteers,” he said.

The money also helps fund other purchases made by the department, such as vehicles.

“We’re getting a new truck, which should be delivered sometime early this summer. Obviously we need equipment money .We’re doing what we can to raise funds,” Mr. Miller said.

The chicken barbecues kill two birds with one stone - they allow the community to enjoy a homemade meal and, at the same time, raise money for the department in the process, he noted.

“We always have tremendous support from this community. We always sell out. We give them a nice meal for their money. I’m sure they like it,” Mr. Miller said.

“I personally believe it’s just the community supporting the volunteers. The community really, really enjoys supporting the fire department,” he said.

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