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YORK – Aurora Cooperative held a silent auction at this year’s ACE Summit and Annual Meeting event held on February 11 and 12.

The funds raised at the silent auction will be distributed to local volunteer fire departments of the winning bidders. In past years, the silent auction was used as a fundraiser for the cooperative’s Co-Worker Crisis Fund, which helps employees who are in dire need due to disasters or medical reasons.

“The choice to donate the funds to local volunteer fire departments was an easy one,” member services representative, Traci Menke said. “This will help ensure that the communities our farmers, their families, and our employees are living in are well prepared for any crisis that may arise. We know how important volunteer fire departments are to the safety and stability of rural communities.”

Through the two silent auctions that were held each day, funds raised were $19,565 and the Aurora Cooperative matched the funds raised with $19,535 bringing the total going out to communities $39,100. These donations are going to 40 different fire departments with the largest donation being $5,800 and the smallest being $450. Those who won the bid on an item earmarked which volunteer fire department the funds would go to.

“With values like this, we will be able to help relieve at least a small portion of safety equipment costs for some of our local departments,” Menke said.

Through existing grants of the year’s past, Aurora Cooperative has been able to help volunteer fire departments acquire some lifesaving grain engulfment equipment and training. With this new cause for the ACE Summit silent auction, Aurora Cooperative can expand their outreach through these new funds raised.

Fire departments who will be receiving funds include: York, McCool Junction, Geneva, Hampton, Henderson, Aurora, Axtell, Blue Hill, Boelus, Broken Bow, Byron, Central City, Chapman, Clarks, Clay Center, Deshler, Dodge, Doniphan, Edgar, Farwell, Franklin, Fullerton, Giltner, Hadar, Harvard, Hastings, Marquette, Minden, Nelson-EMS, Paxton, Phillips, Seward, St. Paul, Sutherland, Sutton, Upland, Wallace, Wood River, and Wray, Colo.

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