Kilts for a Good Cause: Harpers Ferry Highland Games Benefits Local Fire Company | WDVM25 and DCW50

HARPERS FERRY, West Virginia (WDVM) – Normally when people think of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, they think of the rich Civil War history rooted in the small town, not the Irish Highlands. But kilts and bagpipes flooded the historic city for a good cause.

The Friendship Fire Company has teamed up with its neighbor, The Barn, a local event venue, to host a competition like no other. Chad Gauthier, co-owner of The Barn, explains that he wanted to set up the contest to bring people to the small town as well as to benefit a local organization or charity.

“We’re basically starting the first inaugural Highland Games here at Harpers Ferry,” Gauthier explained. “It’s a great fundraiser for the local fire department. “

About 35 people, mostly dressed in kilts, took part in feats of strength like ax and keg throwing, fighting sticks, and caber throwing, where competitors attempt to flip a large conical pole vertically.

Ryan Chronister was one of the contestants for the Inaugural Highland Games, but it wasn’t the first time he had stepped into the ring to test his strength. He says the rush of the competition is what keeps him coming back.

“It’s kind of like a roller coaster, there is anticipation, a little bit of nerves, but when you get there you just enjoy a little rush,” Chronister said.

Chris Higdon, President of the Friendship Fire Company, said he was grateful for the neighborhood generosity that was offered by The Barn. He pointed out that it was Chad and his wife, Kerry, who approached the fire company with the idea of ​​fundraising. He explained that the fire company will have no problem finding a use for the donation.

“It can be used for a number of things, I mean volunteering here in Jefferson County is really struggling these days to keep operations going on the limited budgets we have,” Higdon said. . “We’ll find something to do with anything. We are just so grateful that someone has actually thought of you and knows the benefits of being able to enable us to serve our community.

Part of the money raised during the Highland Games will not only benefit the Friendship Fire Company, but the Loudoun Career Firefighters Foundation as well. Gauthier also hopes to make the competition an annual event with various charities and organizations benefiting from the event.

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Jennifer R. Strohm

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