Sarnia Professional Firefighters Association Rooftop Campout
When Chris Ireland, our Muscular Dystrophy Canada Firefighter representative, approached us with the idea of the Rooftop Campout I knew that I wanted to be on that rooftop. It was something new and fresh that still incorporated filling the boot but with a twist and is for a great cause. As soon as Chris started looking for campers I e-mailed him immediately. Within a few days we had heard back that the following members would be camping on the roof: Kevin Leplante, Doug McCurdy, Brad Lumgair, Randy McDonald, Jim Rose and myself.
Over the next couple of months the campers were busy organizing what amenities, activities, living areas, and entertainment would be needed to get us through the three days that we would be spending on the roof. Meanwhile, Chris would be extremely busy organizing sponsors for the event, donation of meals for the campers, lining up members of the association to volunteer their time to collect donations, and promoting the event.
Saturday, December 1, 2012 was the day we were heading up to the roof. Here’s how our first day went:
8:00 am: We start the day off with a great breakfast that was cooked by the firefighters. Our families, friends, members of local council, and the public also came to for breakfast. A wonderful little boy named William, who was wearing his full firefighting gear, is also here to enjoy breakfast. William suffers from muscular dystrophy and came to support our Rooftop Campout. He joined us for the opening ceremonies and many pictures.
10:00 am: With the Honour Guard at attention and a piper playing, we say goodbye to our families and head up the ladder truck to the rooftop where we will spend the next three days.
12:00 pm: All of our meals were donated by generous restaurants from around Sarnia. For lunch today, we ate chicken wings, hamburgers, wraps and fries from Norm’s Pub and Grill on London Road in Sarnia. We also had many generous people send up treats!
2:00 pm: We host a few visitors while on the roof like local radio stations and a photographer to capture us in action.
5:00 pm: Brownstones sent us a great snack to enjoy before playing some more of our rooftop games. On the rooftop we have one tent for sleeping in and one tent that we use for our living area where we eat our meals and play poker, Atari and table top hockey. Coffee Lodge sends us some hot drinks to try and keep warm during our first evening on the roof!
By the second day we were running out of things to do so we went to Facebook to ask for some ideas, some of which were knitting, dancing and push ups! We also had a football that we threw back and forth as well as just hanging out and telling stories. It turned out to be a pretty great campout, even in December. While we were on the roof collecting donations in the boot and hauling it up, many other firefighters donated their time in the mall by collecting donations and talking to the public. In total we raised over $14,000 which was way over our goal. Thank you Sarnia! The after party was held at Brownstones restaurant. They provided us with appetizers and a great environment to hold our party. We had many raffles and one lucky winner won a 55″ TV! I had a great overall experience. I really enjoyed my time on the roof with my fellow firefighters, and connecting with the community that gave to such a great cause. If I have the opportunity I will be doing it again!
A rooftop campout is a fundraising event where Fire Fighters camp on the roof of a building and collect donations in support of Canadians affected by neuromuscular disorders. Fire Fighter participants will endure below freezing temperatures, inclement weather, and whatever else nature throws their way during 3-day rooftop campouts to raise funds and awareness for muscular dystrophy.
You can donate to Rooftop Campouts by visiting the campout site during the event in person or by visiting each event’s online fundraising page.
Upcoming Rooftop Campouts will be held in: Edmonton (February 4-7); Spruce Grove (February 4-7); St. Albert (February 5-8); Strathcona (February); Leduc (February 4-7); Medicine Hat (February 22-24); Vernon (February 28-March 2); Penticton (February 28-March 3); London (February 28-March 3); Fort McMurray (April 4-7); Richmond Hill (March); Prince George (March) and Scugogg (May). Visit our website and Facebook page for more details on these events or check your local newspapers and radio.