The Whippany Fire House has a history of community involvement that has continued for more than 100 years. Its current location in downtown Whippany was built with money donated by citizens and local businesses and raised through community fundraising activities. Times have changed however and the current firehouse isn’t sufficient to meet the growing needs of the community.
One of the major problems with its current location is its proximity to the Whippany River, which places the fire hall in a flood plain. During severe weather the ground level of the building becomes flooded, causing damage to equipment and seriously compromising the firefighters ability to respond to emergencies.
Another complication is the fire station’s central location. The busy flow of traffic around the building causes a greater likelihood of a collision as well as increased response times. The building is also too small to meet the needs of a much larger population then lived in Whippany when it was built.
Instead of asking the town to fund the new building, the Whippany Fire Department decided to ask the community to support them in their efforts to relocate. One of the upcoming events is the Garden State Brew Fest that will be taking place on Sat., Sept.26, at the Anchor Golf Center, in Whippany. The Garden State Brew Fest (GSBF) asked to partner with the Fire Department this year and a portion of the proceeds will go to help fund the continued relocation efforts. There are just 3,500 available tickets and the more people that attend the more money will be raised.
Jen Shannon, of GSBF, commented on the selection of the Whippany Fire department as its fundraising recipient this year, “I saw a lot of their fundraising efforts and was very impressed, they are doing a great job and knew they were the perfect partner.”
This year’s event will feature three main tents: The Oktoberfest experience, featuring German and autumn brews; the Tri-state Tent featuring local brews from New York State, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; and the Best of National Craft Beer Tent; featuring great beers from across the county.
In addition to the premium brews, there will be live music and food vendors. For those wanting a premium experience, there is a VIP pass. These passes come with early access starting at 1 p.m., on-site parking, and a special two hour food and beer pairing with hand selected beers available only to VIP ticket holders. VIP ticket holders also have designated VIP bathrooms. At a festival with more than 3,000 attendees, that alone may be worth the ticket price.
General admission tickets include a souvenir glass with a specialty glass for those with VIP admission. All ticket holders have access to the main event and the beer is included in the ticket price.
Dale Cowley is the Chair of the Weights and Means Committee for the Whippany Fire Department, and is working with GSBF to co-ordinate the fundraising efforts. When asked about the upcoming event he said, “I am looking forward to seeing the community come out and support us, so we can continue to serve them.”
Cowley has a long history serving at the Whippany Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years. His hope of community support for the volunteer fire department’s continuing efforts to relocate has it’s foundation in the department’s history and the community’s ability to support the department far into the future.
General admission tickets to the GSBF cost $65 and VIP tickets are $125.
Doors open for VIP attendees at 1 p.m. and general admission at 2 p.m. The festival ends at 6 p.m. Tickets are available online with other package options available as well as shuttle tickets to and from the parking area.
To find out more about the upcoming fundraiser go to www.gardenstatebrewfest.com.