Chester Gap column for Dec. 1

VFD events and happenings

So your local volunteer firemen have been extremely busy over the last few weeks with a variety of events. On Oct. 22-23 the Chester Gap Volunteer Fire Department was on hand for the annual charity trail ride held each year in Huntly. Chester Gap VFD provided an ambulance staffed with EMTs and others in case of an emergency as well as using their tanker truck to provide a supply of fresh water for the horses.

Chester Gap's ambulance #9 standing by at the Huntly trail ride fundraiser.
Chester Gap’s ambulance #9 standing by at the Huntly trail ride fundraiser.

The event was to benefit the Flint Hill Vol. Fire Department with proceeds this year to be shared between the two departments. Then on October 29 they hosted their Trunk-or-Treat event with more children than ever showing up. Chief 9, Todd Brown and his haunted hay ride were a huge success with folks asking to ride again and again. Members came out and filled in as scary ghosts and judges for costume and pumpkin carving contests.

The department has also been on track for responding to a record number of fire and EMS calls this year all while attempting to continue their long history of community events and interactions. An let us not forget that the department’s annual awards banquet which is open to all members of the community will be coming up in just a few months. It’s always a great chance for those in the community to come together and renew old friendships and to hopefully make some new ones as well.

Relay for Life hosting local event

A local Relay for Life team, “Hope on the Move,” has planned an event they will be hosting at the Chester Gap VFD on Dec. 10 from 4 to 8 p.m. They will featuring a Soup and Sandwich Meal which will be a “Free Will Offering” fundraiser. They will also be offering luminaries for sale and performing a Christmas tree lighting event using the community Christmas tree already planted on site by the fire department.

The tree lighting event will be done in memory of those who have been affected by cancer. The team will also have various raffle items available for bid and Santa Claus is expected to make an appearance as well. Sounds to me like an excellent chance to enjoy a great meal, meet some awesome volunteers, and get the kids or your spouse even out to see Santa, you know in case you need a hint on what to buy . . . like I do!

Local youth tags once-in-a-lifetime buck

Xavier McCracken and his pie-bald deer.
Xavier McCracken and his pie-bald deer.

So local boy Xavier McCracken was hunting with his uncle in Delaplane, Fauquier County, when things took a strange twist. Xavier states that he at first thought it was some kind of large goat sneaking through the brush but then once it stepped into a clear spot he realized that it was indeed a deer. And not just any deer folks but a pie-bald buck with a small three-point rack and what looked to be a spotted, almost appaloosa colored coat.

With the help of his uncle Xavier managed to harvest the buck and upon walking up to it knew that he had something unusual. The buck was a beautiful spotted collection of white, brown, and tan colors but some abnormalities were also apparent. The buck had a pronounced overbite, back-swept antlers that were small in size and appeared to have one eye that was marbled. Xavier reports that although the buck had a few issues he still was very proud of it and has harvested the animal to use for his family dinner table.