Belington VFD’s Fall Bash draws big crowd

BELINGTON — The weather was cool, and the prizes were hot at the Barbour County Fairgrounds on Saturday for the 20th Annual Belington Volunteer Fire Department’s Fall Bash.

From guns to cash prizes, primitives, a WVU package, tools and much more, the prizes only seem to get better as the years go by. Approximately 750 people took part.

Chief Phil Hart is appreciative of the support from the community. The department depends on fund raisers such as this for their operational expenses.

The special guest of the Fall Bash was Tim Smith, from the hit TV series “Moonshiners.” Smtih began his television career 19 years ago, but became famous for running moonshine on the Discovery Channel show. His famous moonshine is no longer illegal, as of five years ago. His advice for success in business is the age old saying “You have to spend money to make money.”

He told the crowd stories, including how he delivered his first load of moonshine at the age of 12. He actually began helping his dad make it when he was only 5, skipping kindergarten to do so.

While moonshine is Smith’s passion, firefighting is also near to his heart. He is the fire chief at his home department in Climax, Virginia.

Tim says that firefighters are a huge part of the community. He said when you respond to a call, especially in a small community, chances are that you are going to know that person whom you are helping, so actually, the fire department is just “family helping family.”

Smith said the fire department in Climax is small, with only 23 members and five firetrucks. They don’t even have fire hydrants, he said. They run approximately 200 calls per year. But he always tells folk, “It only takes one.” He says if you only help one person, or go on one call, then it’s worth all the time, training, cost, etc., if it helps just one person, then it’s all worthwhile.

In addition to drawing the winning tickets for the bash, Smith spent his weekend in Barbour County, signing autographs, meeting fans, selling moonshine and eating good food.

The Belington VFD is available 24/7, 365 days a year, as emergencies don’t take a break for holidays. Support, whether it be from attending the gun bash, or by being a member, is greatly needed. There are several ways to become a member. If you are ages 16-18, you can be a junior member, and it’s a great way to get your foot in the door to a career in fire fighting, officials said. Active members repond to calls, fighting fires or taking care of car wrecks. But then there are members in the background. Support members go on calls that are essentially considered non-emergency, such as fallen trees or traffic control. Auxiliary members work at events such as fund raisers and dinners. If you are interested in joining the fire department family, contact any member for more information.

The Belington VFD is planning a bingo fundraiser at the end of October, and the elimination dinner will be Nov. 3.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)