The Nechako Rotary Club is looking for the community to step up and help support those who support first responders.
The club has been selling raffle tickets on a 1971 Ford Torino convertible, but have only managed to move a fraction of those needed to raise the necessary money to fund the Salvation Army's new crisis response trailer.
"At this point in time, it's looking very gloomy," said club fundraising director Ken Pendergast, who added he doesn't think the public really understands what the $10 tickets are supporting.
The trailer, which came to town in April, is manned by Prince George Salvation Army volunteers who are ready at a moment's notice to back up first responders.
It has the capacity to serve 500 meals, three times per day, due to its ability to haul 4,000 lbs of food. The mobile response unit is completely self-sufficient and can function without city water, sewer or electrical hookups in remote locations.
The trailer sleeps 10 people and was first used to back up those who responded to the Lakeland Mills explosion on April 23.
"Everything we've heard from first responders is they were so thrilled to have the Salvation Army there to support them," said Capt. Neil Wilkinson, shortly after the trailer's inauguration. "It was exhausting work and emotionally exhausting work... so to be able to sit down and have a coffee and sandwich and hot meal and a place to rest is great."
The unit and disaster response team has been on standby for assistance since the threat of Fraser River flooding began last month. The unit is used to support the entire northern region of the province from Williams Lake to the Yukon border and from the Alberta border to Smithers.
Pendergast said supporting this initiative was "a no-brainer for the club."
The Nechako Rotary Club is footing $25,000 of the bill for the trailer. But since the local charity needed the unit sooner rather than later, they worked out a deal where they purchased it through the Salvation Army on the expectation the service club would pay them back.
So far, the club has sold less than 2,000 of the 10,000 tickets available until the Sept. 12 draw date.
Last year, the Rotarians' sold-out Mustang raffle raised $24,000 for the Kordyban Lodge. "This year we're not having the same kind of success."
But although the current sale is slow to get going, Pendergast still has faith in the community.
"We've been at this juncture in other years, but with support of people and the publicity raised, they helped," he said.
The Nechako Rotary Club will be selling tickets at the Real Canadian Superstore for the next two weeks.