Goodhue Lions Donate $20,000.00 to Fire Department


The annual meeting of the Goodhue Community Fire Truck Association and the Goodhue Fire Department was held at the fire hall on Monday evening, February 19, 2024. A moment of silence was observed for the three emergency professionals killed on duty the previous day.

Members of the Goodhue Lion’s Club presented a donation of $20,000.00 to the Goodhue Firemen’s Relief Association. The funds were part of the club’s charitable gambling proceeds and will be used by the fire truck association for upgrading and maintaining the department’s equipment. The Lion’s Club raises funds through pull-tab sales at Goodhue’s Corner Bar, Dar’s, and the Hay Creek Saloon. Charitable gaming is overseen by the Minnesota Gambling Control Board and all profit plus $1000.00 must be given away. Sone other recent local beneficiaries include the all-night graduation party, high school scholarships and the band’s trip to Florida.

In 2022, the fire truck association accepted $25,000.00 from the fund to purchase a fire blanket that can be used to put out electric car fires. In 2023, another $25,000.00 donation was used to purchase tank units for both a truck and UTV to assist in fighting brush fires and also a basket for remote rescue situations. Donations from other organizations have helped to purchase grain bin rescue equipment and new pagers. A new pumper truck was purchased in 2023 at a cost of nearly $600,000.00 with the old truck being sold for $8605.00 on an online auction. The high bidder was from Cleveland, OH and the truck will be dismantled for parts.

Upcoming expected expenses include a new roof for the firehall, updated radio communication systems and more upgrades to the fire truck inventory. It was also noted that basic maintenance costs have essentially doubled in recent years. After much discussion and input from township representatives in attendance, the Community Fire Truck Association voted to raise the tax levy to build funds for these necessities. A unanimous ballot was cast to re-elect the current officer team of Henry Thomforde, Chairman; Roger Ballstadt, Vice President; and Brad Kolberg, Secretary/Treasurer.

Goodhue Fire Chief, Derek Weckerling reported on the year’s activities including visiting the schools to teach children about fire prevention. Other community outreach included National Night Out, local parades, and the annual open house and fundraiser. They hosted Volksfest events and tended to the burning barrels at the German Christmas market, provided fire protection during the auto cross event at the county fair and participated in a presentation about the fire department for the Goodhue Area Historical Society.

Members of the department train for two hours each month and did an old house joint practice burn with several other departments. They must stay well-equipped and trained for all of the medical and fire calls they receive. Recent new additions to the Goodhue Fire Department are Trevor Huneke, Dalton Scurr, Brandon Haidar and Carlee Kurtti, who is currently the only female on the team.