Humboldt business raises money for ambulance using Bernie Sanders meme

Humboldt business raises money for ambulance using Berne meme
Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 5:09 PM CDT
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HUMBOLDT, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way many fire and ambulance services raise money for needed equipment and resources. Some communities are having to get creative and think outside the box.

In Humboldt, their annual fundraising event was canceled. So one local business is using a popular meme to help raise some funds.

On inauguration day this year, Bernie Sanders wearing mittens went viral and quickly turned into a meme. Now, this meme has been made into a 3D figurine thanks to All Scale Miniatures in Humboldt.

“Online there’s a place where people just contribute free designs and some enthusiast decided to draw this up and put it out there for the community and said, ‘If you guys want to have fun with it, then go ahead and make it your own,’” said Jacob Fonkert, a Designer with All Scale Miniatures.

That’s exactly what the company did.

All Scale Miniatures makes custom plastic miniatures for train models, anything from fire hydrants to animals. “Bernie on a Journey” being the latest figurine added to their repertoire.

“We saw that Bernie himself really enjoyed it and he used this moment to fundraise for his local communities around Vermont and we decided to see how we could apply that to our area,” said Fonkert.

They’re calling it a “Meme on a Mission.” The plan is to sell 100 Bernie figurines painted by local Humboldt artist Cheryl Bowen. You can also buy an unpainted one.

$20 from each figurine will be donated to the Humboldt Fire and Ambulance services to help offset the cost of a new ambulance that was recently purchased.

“We just want people to know that it’s really critical for our area to have a new ambulance. We cover a lot of areas,” said Fonkert.

The department feels fortunate to see gestures like this as they have a lot of expenses.

“There are uniforms, there’s gear, there are radios, there are pagers. We have expenses of the ambulance, we have supplies, and we have personnel. So it will be put to good use,” said Susan Shumaker, Full-time Paramedic for Humboldt Fire and Ambulance.

The department added five paid positions due to a lack of volunteers. They used to have around 40 to 45 volunteers, now they are down to around 29 volunteers.

“All the departments have this problem getting volunteers for EMTs, for fire, firefighters. People aren’t volunteering like they used to,” said Shumaker.

So the department appreciates any help they can get.

The goal is to raise $2,500. If you’re interested in purchasing “Bernie on a Journey” click here.

The business would also love to see photos of all the places people put their Bernie figurine. Staff say to think of it like Elf on a Shelf. You can share those photos on their Facebook page here.

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