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Community giving spirit prevails

Hats off this week to anyone who played any sort of role in West Fest this past weekend.

It was a truly phenomenal day, with thousands turning out for the grand parade and other festivities scattered throughout the community.

Doing what it takes to help others seemed to be a common thread with members of the West Fargo Volunteer Fire Department, taking a lead role in accomplishing just that while strolling the parade route.

For the second year in a row, they conducted their 'pass the boot' campaign, with proceeds presented to the Muscular Dystrophy Association in memory of fellow fireman Jeff Carriveau, who passed away four years ago from ALS.

Fire Chief Roy Schatschneider said his crew was heartened by the overwhelming response of parade spectators, young and old alike, who were more than happy to do whatever they could to help fill the boot. "It was just a tremendous reaction. We had two guys walking along each side of the fire department vehicle collecting and because of everyone's generosity in dropping money in the boot, they had trouble keeping up with the parade route. The people really opened up for this and that was just great."

When the boot filled, which it did often, they dumped the contents into a larger container and started over. When all was said and done, $1,662 had been collected, which will now be presented to the local MDA office in anticipation of next September's Labor Day televised drive, where fire officials will reiterate the amount and significance of their fund-raising efforts.

On the other side of the community, in the Veterans Memorial Arena, members of the Valley Vintage Car Club were also in the 'helping out' mode, an annual theme of their show that donates a portion of their proceeds back to local charities.

The Northwood Tornado Relief fund was one of the entities on the receiving end, with club members donating $1,000 to the community ravaged by a tornado late last month.

The generosity of these two groups and any others out there during Saturday's celebration striving to benefit a cause truly speaks volumes.

As Schatschneider summed it up after the parade. "We can't thank everyone enough for giving. It was great to see people turn out the way they did, it really showed the spirit of the community."