(By: Melissa Maddux)
At the end of October, the Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department started their annual fundraiser. The duration of the fundraiser usually lasts a month, ending on Wednesday, November 18 at 8 p.m. The proceeds of the fundraiser will help fund the firefighter’s association in Lone Pine, as well as help award scholarships at the end of the school year, said Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief, Carl Bursell. “We try to keep a tradition going—a lot of people look forward to the pies,” said Fire Chief Bursell.
The Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department usually makes a minimal amount of $1.00-$1.50 per pie. There is no specific amount that needs to be raised, or no set goal of how many pies will need to be sold—last year was one of their better years, said Bursell. “We may not see the numbers we usually do because of COVID and the family gatherings,” he said. At the same time, Bursell said they contemplated hosting this year’s fundraiser due to COVID.
When the customer comes to pick up their “fresh pie,” on Tuesday, November 24 between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., the fire department will have limited or no contact with the customer—they will operate with COVID-19 compliance, said Bursell. One table will be set up outside, where the pie handler will set one pie order onto the table and will then back away for the customer to check their pie order. The pie handler will also be wearing gloves and a mask when handling pies for the customers. The table will then be sanitized after each customer. Lines or stickers will be placed six feet apart for the customer’s safety, as well as the requirement for masks. On the same day the fresh pies are picked up by customers, the pies are brought up from the Marie Callender’s in Lancaster, and that is why they are fresh, said Bursell.
The Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department will offer the following types of Marie Callendar’s pies: Pumpkin, Apple, French Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Razzleberry, Rhubarb, Lemon Meringue, Pecan, Banana Cream, Coconut Cream, Cream Cheese, Chocolate Cream, Chocolate Satin, and German Chocolate. The price for each pie depends, ranging from $12-$17. Extra pies of each kind will also be available, said Bursell.
If the public does not purchase all of the pies, then someone from the fire department purchases that extra pie, said Bursell. At the same time, there are others who decide to make a donation to the fire department instead of purchasing a pie, he said. For at least 20 years, the tradition to sell Marie Callender’s pies started when the Marie Callender’s in Lancaster was willing to work with them, he said. A few years ago, the Lone Pine Fire Department hosted a yard sale at the Lone Pine Film Festival, as well as participate in the town’s annual Christmas parade.
For anyone interested in purchasing a Marie Callender’s pie from the Lone Pine Volunteer Fire Department, can contact, Chelsea Benbrook at 760-264-3299, or by leaving a message with the fire station at 760-876-4626.