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Tiny fire truck promotes education, supports firefighters

Swift County Monitor - Staff Photo - Create Article
Benson Fire Chief Jeff Reuss walks in the DeGraff Labor Day parade next to his tiny fire truck as he hands out candy and information about fire safety.

With their little fire engine Benson Fire Chief Jeff Reuss and his wife Janie have been traveling to area parades and fairs raising funds for the Fallen Firefighters Association, the Wounded Warriors guide service, and the Eagle’s Healing Nest in Sauk Centre.
They’ve established their own 501c3 non-profit business through which they can raise funds to support their efforts and make donations. At the March 19 Benson City Council meeting they asked for the city’s help to facilitate their fundraising efforts.
“What we do first and foremost is try to promote fire safety and having fun doing it,” Reuss told the council. In 2023, Reuss planned to attend nine events but ended up doing 12 to 13. “Being a non-profit, we just didn’t have the funds to come up with trying to …” provide everything to the kids and people they met along the parade routes and at fairs. They ended up footing the bill for some of the expenses on their own, he said. For 2024, there are 20 events that he and his wife could participate in, Reuss told the council. “We thought if we could do some kind of a raffle starting in June, when the first parade starts, we would run that all the way through…until we are done” in the fall. Raising some raffle money would help with expenses, he said.

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