Firehouse Kitchen Fundraiser raises money for Christmas gifts

Emma Collins

The sound of Christmas carols and silverware clinking mixed together during the annual Firehouse Kitchen Fundraiser at Steamer Seafood on Thursday night.

For the second year in a row, the Bowling Green Firefighter’s Association hosted the event to raise money for their Shop with a Firefighter program. The program, in partnership with Community Action, pairs firefighters with local children for a day of shopping at Meijer to buy clothes and Christmas presents for the children.

“Events like this at Steamer are essential to what we do,” Justin Reesy, a firefighter and treasurer for the association, said.


The firefighters cooked and served shrimp etouffee behind a bar in the restaurant while guests mingled and waited for their food. Shrimp etouffee consists of rice, shrimp and mixed vegetables including bell peppers and onions, according to the event’s press release.

“It’s delicious,” Dale Augenstein, the owner of Steamer Seafood, said.

Each plate cost $15, and all of the proceeds will go to pay for Shop with a Firefighter, held this year on Dec. 9.

Reesy said last year’s event raised about $3,000. He said the association spends around $10,000 annually for Shop with a Firefighter.

Reesy said the event is the most efficient fundraiser the Bowling Green Firefighter’s Association hosts. The association, whose members are Bowling Green firefighters, is a nonprofit organization “committed to community service and social involvement,” according to the group’s Facebook page.

The organization also partners with the Family Enrichment Center to provide Thanksgiving baskets to families, according to information at the fundraiser. The baskets come with turkey, stuffing, gravy, corn, beans, a two-liter of cola and a pie. Reesy said this year, the association provided 60 baskets to the community.

Augenstein said he invited the firefighters to host the event at his restaurant after seeing a video on YouTube of the firefighters cooking shrimp etouffee. He said all of the proceeds raised during the event go to the Bowling Green Firefighter’s Association.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Augenstein said.

Augenstein said he has family members who are firefighters in other cities, and he liked the Bowling Green Firefighter’s Association cause and decided to reach out.

“That’s why Steamer does it, because we care,” Augenstein said.

Reporter Emma Collins can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].