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Firefighters already planning for next year’s Paint Chelsea Pink

Firefighter Ian Ballard talks with kids in the children's area during Paint Chelsea Pink.

As prize winners dropped by the Chelsea Area Fire Authority firehouse Monday, Fire Lt. Scott Basar, event chairman for Paint Chelsea Pink, heard the same refrain: It was a great event for a great cause and everyone who participated had fun.

Plus, when the total tally is complete, the Susan G. Komen Foundation Mid-Michigan will have more funds in its coffers to help people in the area with breast cancer awareness, testing and treatments.

“The most important person to thank is chief (Jim Payeur). He was 100 percent for it and he let us take charge and handle it and make it our own,” Basar said of the 12 firefighters who worked tirelessly to organize and put on the event Sept. 29.

Paint Chelsea Pink gained the support of more than 100 businesses and the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s one of the many things that he’s done to improve the department and help us to give back to the community we serve,” Basar said.

Even while the event was ongoing, the firefighters were thinking about and jotting down ways to make adjustments for next year’s event and Basar said there will be a “debriefing meeting” to assess changes to make it an event better fundraiser in 2013.

The Chelsea Rotary food trailer at Paint Chelsea Pink.

In total, more than 40 volunteers were involved. “The time they took from their lives and the effort they put into it — I can’t thank everyone enough,” he said.

From the firefighters who spent countless hours of their own time to work on the event, to the businesses that participated and donated wonderful prizes for a drawing an an after party at Chelsea Lanes — Basar was all smiles when he looked back on all they had done to Paint Chelsea Pink in a very short time frame.

“It took a lot of effort and work on everyone’s part,” he said, adding the whole thing was well received — especially for a first-time event.

He said the foundation will make money, business owners gained traffic into their stores and the fire department was able to give back to the community it serves.

“We tried to promote Chelsea as much as possible and create a buzz,” Basar said, adding that there were flyers for upcoming events in town in the pink goodie bags that participants received.

“I’m personally proud of the department for all the extra effort, done on their own time, from beginning to end,” he said. “We, as a department, are honored to serve the people of Chelsea.”

Pink Teddy bears were all the rage.





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