A Message to Firefighters
Our community is so thankful for all the police and firefighters who gave their time and risked their lives fighting these wildfires. If you participated in these efforts, we are happy to extend complementary tickets for your attendance. Please contact your Chief to make arrangements to receive tickets. We ask that you consider wearing a uniform or department shirt to the event so that those in attendance can recognize and thank you for your efforts!
“Paying for the Past, Preparing for the Future”
In April of 2011, a series of massive wildfires burned out of control in Palo Pinto and Young Counties. During these devastating fires, over 150,000 acres were destroyed and more than 200 homes were burned to the ground. In response to the fires and the financial strain they put on local volunteer fire departments, a group of local property owners founded the Buckets and Boots Foundation and put together a grassroots effort to raise funds to repair and upgrade firefighting equipment.
The Buckets and Boots Foundation held an inaugural concert at the Rocker B Ranch in Graford, Texas in July of 2011. The proceeds have been awarded through a grant process to local volunteer fire departments. These grants played a key role in purchasing six new fire engines for local departments and aided in the repair of existing equipment and the purchase of new equipment. Additionally, an Emergency Relief Fund was established to proactively assist local fire departments with future fires.
During the summer of 2012, fires once again broke out in the Graford/Palo Pinto County area. Local fire departments again rose to the challenge and worked tirelessly to control the fires. Despite their valiant efforts, the massive nature of these wildfires put significant strain on the local departments. While waiting for the state to allocate additional resources, the Buckets and Boots Foundation was able to step in and make a significant and immediate impact through the use of the Emergency Relief Fund. The Foundation, in a coordinated effort with the local fire chiefs, privately hired ten bull dozers with operators who were able to cut a fire ring around the fires - enabling the local departments to control and contain the fires, thus protecting the area and saving thousands of acres and countless homes from imminent danger.
The funds raised from the 2013 Buckets and Boots Benefit Concert have been allocated to local volunteer fire departments resulting in the purchases of seven coats, eleven pairs of pants, six helmets, and twenty pairs of goggles. Having the proper safety and protective equipment is extremely important given that no structure is worth the life of a firefighter. Additional funds assisted in the purchase of tanks, pumps, and fire damage repair. The West Volunteer Fire Department was also granted $10,000 to aid in relief efforts after the major explosion that occurred at the fertilizer plant.
The Buckets and Boots Foundation has proven that a public and private partnership with local volunteer fire departments can make a huge impact in the firefighter’s ability to quickly contain wildfires before they reach the point of spreading out of control. Our Emergency Relief Fund currently contains almost $100,000. As seen in 2012, this fund can quickly help stop a dangerous threat to the Palo Pinto community. With drought conditions still affecting the area and the prospect of a hot, dry, windy spring and summer, wildfire conditions remain a major threat.
With this in mind, we ask that you join us in sponsoring this year’s Buckets and Boots Concert to be held at the Rocker B Ranch in Graford on July 12th, 2014. Featured artists include: Josh Weathers, Stoney LaRue, Wade Bowen, Pat Green, and The Bellamy Brothers. Also, as a VIP sponsor, you are invited to a party on the night of July 11th, 2014. We will be having both Steve Wariner and Josh Weathers perform. Our live auction will be during the VIP Party and you do not want to miss out on the chance to bid on once in a lifetime experiences. Thank you in advance for your support!