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Ponder goes the extra step

As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” But in Ponder, they took it a step further — it took a community to raise a new building for its volunteer fire department.

A new 9,600-square-foot building off FM156 sports sleeping quarters for six, a full kitchen, living areas, office space, a training room that doubles as an emergency response room as needed, and a community room that will be available to local civic organizations.

Community leaders and residents planned the building over a five-year period, holding fundraisers to help defray some costs for the $652,800 station. One particular annual event, Frontier Days, is the main source of funds for the new fire station, along with a couple of sizeable grants from CoServ Electric and ConocoPhillips.

One Ponder resident even provided space for the volunteer fire department to work from while the building was under construction. That alone saved the nonprofit organization a considerable sum.

Frontier Days is conducted by the volunteer fire department and serves as a gathering time for many residents and visitors from out of town. In fact, it is coming up on the calendar again in a couple of months, slated for May 17-19. The three-meat barbecue fundraiser serves a hearty meal at a cost of $12 for adults and $6 for children.

Be sure to take the opportunity to join the community in celebrating its new facility and enjoy the tasty barbecue to boot.

At the volunteer fire department’s recent open house, the station was packed with residents touring the facility for the first time and celebrating their collective effort. The department, which was founded in 1937, serves 68 square miles with 18 volunteers.

The excitement, we hear, was palpable — not only because of the spiffy new digs but also because of the realization of a longtime goal.

It is community efforts like these that deserve the spotlight. Through planning, goal setting and community cohesiveness, a small Denton County town upgraded an important service — not by indebtedness but through old-fashioned hard work. And that deserves a hearty round of applause.