To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the Ladies Auxiliary of Boyertown’s Friendship Hook and Ladder Company will unveil the community’s only female Bear Fever bear, Friendship Bear, created by artist Jeff Graber of Graber Letterin’.
The new lady bear features the fire company’s colors: maroon and gold and is holding a bingo card to represent the group’s cause. She is also wearing a necklace, earring, open-toed shoes, and is holding a pocketbook at her side.
“We’re very proud of her,” said Mary Stetler, the company’s Financial Secretary, noting that out of 40 ‘Bear Fever’ bears, this is the first female bear. “I thought it’d be a neat thing to do for the auxiliary.”
Last March the ladies approached the fire company with the idea of bear. Now that request has come to fruition. “We help each other out,” said Stetler in reference to the fire company, “we appreciate them and they appreciate us. It’s not cheap running a fire company.”
“I took a while to raise the money, but we did it,” said Faith Houck, President “This is our ‘Friendship’ to the community.”
Comprised of more than 250 members, this group has hosted bingo games every week (Wednesdays 6:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.) at the fire company and, as a result, has been donating to fund projects and equipment for the “Hookies” fire company, the fire police, the junior fireman program, as well as community organizations including Multi-Service, the Salvation Army, ambulance companies, and the Red Cross.
Houck stated that the ladies try to keep the donations local because the members and the bingo players are local.
The Ladies Auxiliary of Boyertown began in 1966 as part of Boyertown’s Centennial celebration. The ladies will be holding a dedication ceremony in 2016 to celebrate their 50 years as a successful auxiliary.
“Bingo gets people of their houses to socialize,” said Stetler. “It’s wonderful to have an organization working together to help the community.
Each week the group awards prizes to bingo winners purchased at Brooks Meat Market. Prizes include grocery items and staples such as items such as paper towels.
The auxiliary is completely made up of volunteers and meets monthly. There are 30-40 active members—male and female—who participate in the yearly gatherings such as the annual picnic, birthday celebration, an anniversary banquet in October, a Christmas banquet, and occasional bus trips.