The 2024 Portage Fire Department's Bike Auction wrapped up a week ago this past Saturday. Firefighter Curtis Rance says 130 bikes left the grounds, and $4,169 went toward the Burn Fund as a result.

The auction takes place each summer as bicycles the department's collected over the year are given to new owners.

"For being kind of a cool rainy morning, it was a good outcome," says Rance. "We auction them all off and anything that doesn't really garner any interest, we put it into a pile and we auction that big pile off; there's broken bikes frames stuff like that in it. There's usually one person that buys it every year. He runs a bike shop down in Morden, so he buys all those parts to help fix up other bikes for his business."

Rance says the Burn Fund is a great organization and receive the money and the Burn Ward in Winnipeg uses it for education, renovations, or treatments for burn victims.

"I actually got to go into Winnipeg and tour a new section of the Children's Burn Ward a couple weeks ago," adds Rance. "They took a very sterile bandaging room, and updated it for the kids to make it more friendly, and put in a video game system where they can get their arms and legs moving. It was a really, really beautiful room. It's a positive pressure room. So, it has a ventilation system to keep all the germs out. It's just more inviting for kids to be in the room while getting their bandages changed and enjoy this game and system." He explains the gaming system is projected on the wall or onto the floor. Children are able to pop virtual balloons and get their arms and legs moving if they've been burned in those areas. 

Rance notes what it's like to be able to assist this effort for children.

"It's very satisfying to see. It's nice to see where this money ends up. I know the doctors and the nurses at Health Sciences Centre in the Children's Burn Ward are very appreciative of what the Burn Fund has been able to do for them."

He adds their Burn Fund Golf Tournament is coming up in July and takes place on the first Thursday of the month. 

"I hope to see that sell-out and people come out and have a good time and get in around the golf."