MONTICELLO — The Monticello Fire Department’s water rescue team received a big boost last week from the Lake Shafer Association.
The group, a nonprofit founded in 1932 geared toward improving the quality of life for people who use or live on the lake, presented the fire department with its Ruth Borscheller Award worth $5,000.
“The Lake Shafer Association’s Board of Directors received a request from the Monticello Fire Department to a fill need for first responder equipment as some of the current equipment was approaching its life span,” said Brad Gervais, LSA’s president.
Ruth Borscheller, who passed away in March 2018, was the group’s secretary/treasurer. Known simply as “Mrs. B,” Borscheller, for 35 years, was responsible for directing funds from LSA to the water rescue team once she learned the team was responsible for recovering the body of her father, who had drowned in the early 1980s. Once she made the connection that the team was made up of Monticello Fire Department personnel, she became a staunch annual supporter of it.
The water rescue team plans to use the $5,000 for auto-inflating life vests, waders and wetsuits.
The check was presented Sept. 5 by Ruth Borscheller’s husband, Mike, to MFD Capt. Robert Hickman, along with several LSA board members.
“They donate to us almost every year,” Hickman said. “Because of the small number of responses we make in water rescue, it’s hard to take money out of our limited budget to fund it. Without (LSA’s) donations, I don’t know how our water rescue would continue to exist.”
The water rescue team has used past donations to purchase everything from boats and motors to training and equipment.
“They fund it all,” Hickman said.
Thus far in 2019, The Lake Shafer Association has contributed to several projects affecting the lake. Working with the Boy Scouts and the SFLECC, 40 fish cribs were constructed to encourage the growth of the fingerlings placed in the lake by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and SFLECC.
The association, with the Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast, also hosted a boating safety course conducted by the DNR, and donated $1,000 each to the K9 program of the Monticello Police Department and the White County Sheriff’s Department.
Funds for the projects come from donations from LSA members, who pay dues of $5 each year.