CRANDALL, TX (KTVT/CNN) — A struggling North Texas volunteer fire department got a little help from a shark.
A check from Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban comes just when the fire department needed it most.
When the Crandall Fire Department adds up all the fish plates sold Saturday night, volunteer firefighter Barrett Cline-Coke said they raised “about 600 to 700 hundred.”
It still won’t be nearly enough to buy a fire truck.
“Every little bit helps. I mean, the trucks aren’t cheap,” Cline-Coke said.
Engine 1 is the one and only fire engine truck the Crandall Fire Department has left.
It was forced to sell its other two trucks to pay back fraudulent loans taken out by the former department’s treasurer who also served as the department’s chaplain.
“Everybody just, you know, got their mouth wide open on what happened, you know,” Chief Allen Cousins said.
Chief Cousins knew his department needed to raise money and fast.
He says there’s no way this one truck could protect this entire community.
And so the he came up with an idea, one he even admitted seemed a little crazy.
Chief Cousins sent a letter to a man he honestly thought would be too busy to even read it.
“So you could imagine his reaction when two days later he had a check for 10-thousand dollars from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban,” Chief Cousins said.
“When I seen that check, I just fell out of my chair. (laughs) yeah, I was excited. I really was,” Chief Cousins said.
Ten-thousand dollars won’t buy a new truck, but firefighter Barrett-Coke says it gives the department the kick start it needed.
“The relief we felt from having that extra push behind us kind of took the stress off us a little bit,” Barrett-Coke said.
Saturday night, the fire department hopes to double that ten-thousand dollars with donations and proceeds from an auction.
“I think it’s wonderful. It’s good to see this size a turnout – all ages – all over,” Mesquite resident Doris Richardson said.
But it’s the man who’s not even here, whose gift firefighter say has meant more than 10-thousand dollars.
According to inforney.com, the department raised about 46-thousand dollars Saturday, including Cuban’s donation.
From the Crandall Fire Department Facebook page:
“We have received many calls asking if we are still accepting donations. At the moment we are still accepting donations at the following address:
Crandall Fire Department
P.O. Box 298
Crandall, Texas 75114
Or you can go to: http://www.gofundme.com/8w2sps“