Jamestown boy raises $650 toward fire truck

Fire truck donation.jpg
Through the sales from a lemonade and cookie sale, Asher Wiest, center, hands Jim Reuther, Jamestown Fire Department chief, a check in the amount of $650 to be applied to the purchase of a new ladder truck. Also pictured is Mayor Dwaine Heinrich and Sparky the department mascot. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Asher Wiest wanted to help when he learned about the need for a new ladder truck at the Jamestown Fire Department. So on Sunday, May 31, the 6-year-old sold cookies and lemonade outside of his home on 15th Avenue Northeast to raise money for it.

On Monday, June 1, Asher and his parents presented a $650 check from sales and tips to Jim Reuther, fire chief, outside of the Fire Department.

"There's still some more (money) coming in," said his mother, Courtney Wiest.

Using what his father, Shannon Wiest, called a "special recipe" for lemonade from his grandpa, Asher sold the beverage for 50 cents a glass and chocolate chip cookies for 25 cents apiece.

"This is all his idea," said Shannon. He said people were generous and "overpaid" for the cookies and lemonade to support the cause.


Courtney posted the fundraiser on social media and during the 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. refreshment sale, several off-duty firefighters stopped by as did three police officers from the Jamestown Police Department to support Asher and the cause.

"We're still blown away by the generosity of the community," Courtney said.

Mayor Dwaine Heinrich, who attended the check presentation, said Asher and his parents are a "credit to the community" for raising money to purchase the new truck, which is expected to be delivered in late July or early August.

The city approved using money from the Fire Department's equipment replacement fund that had been designated for other equipment to pay for the new truck. The city is planning to use city funds, community donations and funding from action anticipated from the North Dakota Legislature's next session to repay the funds used to purchase the more than $1 million ladder truck.

"I was so surprised," said Reuther, when he got the telephone call Monday from the Wiests about presenting the donation to the Fire Department. "This is the kind of stuff we need nowadays," referring to people doing good deeds, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

As for Asher, he got a surprise after he presented the check to the mayor and the fire chief: a ride in a fire truck.

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