Ames Chamber of Commerce

Local Companies Assist in Rescue Boat Fundraising for Jewell Fire & Rescue and Hamilton County Conservation

May 3, 2021

WG Provisions is partnering with The Jewell Market to host a fundraising event on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 9th. WG Provisions will be providing 400 Hot Beef Sundaes for a drive-thru luncheon. Service will start at 11 o’clock, continuing until 1 pm or until they run out. It will be a free-will donation, and all funds raised will go to the rescue watercraft fundraising efforts of Jewel Fire and Rescue (JFR) & Hamilton County Conservation (HCC).

Last year on Mother’s Day, WG Provisions was part of an effort to support the reopening of the Jewell Market with drive-through, COVID style, hot beef sundaes. WG has been a part of the Jewell community for over 30 years providing customers with various quality meat products. They have made the shredded beef for the iconic Hot Beef Sundae at the Iowa State Fair Cattlemen’s Quarters for years. The shredded beef is one of their flagship products, part of their program, and is made in Jewell by their Smokehouse team.

Darren Dies, the owner of WG, said, “We’ve been thrilled to see the success of the Jewell Market since its reopening last July. It’s been great for the community! This year, we thought, let’s do that again. Let’s bring a drive-through Hot Beef Sundae event to the community and support the next community need. Then we asked, what does the Jewell community need most this Mother’s Day?”

In discussions with Jewell Market, Jewell Fire and Rescue, and community members Allyson Walter and Dave Sprague, WG decided to raise funds for a rescue boat. Jewell Fire & Rescue systematically does a community needs assessment to identify areas to better serve in an emergency. Little Wall Lake has been a community recreational asset for many years. JFR practices potential rescue events at the lake, including Ice Rescue and Water Rescue. Water Rescue has always been dependent on personal watercraft assisting in rescue attempts. Chief Duane Hendrickson stated, “The recent event at Little Wall Lake involving the ISU Crew Team proved to us
that we are not fully prepared for all scenarios. There are times of the year that personal watercraft are not available. We have initiated this watercraft fundraising effort to correct this deficiency.”

The plan is twofold. Jewell Fire and Rescue has partnered with Hamilton County Conservation to secure a craft to remain at Little Wall Lake, maintained by HCC but available to Water Rescue Technicians during any rescue need. Second, JFR will secure an inflatable watercraft to support the Little Wall Lake watercraft. This vessel will be maintained and stored at the Jewell Fire Station and available for Little Wall Lake rescue or any rescue effort in Hamilton County involving mutual aid partners, including Stratford Fire and Rescue and Webster City Fire Department.

The budget process for the City of Jewell with Jewell Fire and Rescue is sufficient for the day-to-day operation of the fire department. However, the budget does not take into account any significant capital improvement without multiple years of preparation and possible bonding. Hendrickson feels the need for rescue watercraft, in this case, is much more urgent.

Hamilton County Conservation is partnering with JFR to raise and secure funding to acquire the boat package for Little Wall Lake. Brian Lammers, Executive Director, says, “Recent tragic events at Little Wall Lake have made this effort a priority with HCC and other EMS and law enforcement agencies. With this purchase, partner agencies will have the ability to respond quickly and help avoid a similar incident in our public recreation areas. The boat itself will cost a little over $26,000. However, after purchasing all electronics, safety, and rescue equipment, the total price is closer to $40,000. Dies stated, “Jewell Fire and Rescue had this program underway, and we are thankful to be a part of the initial fundraising efforts. We are humbled and thrilled to support the community in raising funds for this vital cause. We do hope that WG Provisions and Jewell Market can continue in coming years to bring Hot Beef Sundaes for Mother’s Day to help raise money for the next community need. We are thankful to be a part of a community that is working together for others. I think this is just the kind of thing that would make all our moms very proud.”

Hendrickson thanked the community in advance for their support, saying, “In the past, we have come to the residents and businesses in the South Hamilton area for financial support of these special needs. We have always been successful, and I do not doubt that we can be in this instance. I want to thank the people of the South Hamilton Area for their support, whatever that may be. After borrowing it from a conference speaker, I have said it often, "A fire department is a reflection of what the community will support.” You have done well.”

Lammers added, “ Your commitment to this project is greatly appreciated. The boat will assist and serve the public in the future.” An account is open at the Availa Bank in Jewell named ‘Little Wall Lake Watercraft Fund’ for any public contributions. Donations are tax-deductible through the JFR 501(c)3. JFR has also set up a Go-Fund-Me account for those who would like to donate online. Go to their Facebook page for details.


Media contact:
Allyson Walter

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