By Jacob Mathias
Town of Hull Supervisor David Pederson on Monday expressed objections to some prizes awarded as part of the Hull Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Week raffle.
The raffle, part of the fire department’s Fire Prevention Week festivities held last week, listed various hunting firearms as prizes for winners of the raffle contest. At a meeting of the Hull Board of Supervisors on October 12, Pederson publicly voiced his objections to the raffle prizes during a board member comment session.
“I wish to register protest of the raffling of guns,” said Pederson. “You could put up a dollar amount for each category allowing people to spend the money on anything they want.”
Deputy Fire Chief Mark Fritsche said winners of the firearms are not given their prize directly, but rather were given a gift card for the value of the item at Gander Mountain. The winner could use the gift card for the firearm itself or purchase anything else they’d like from the store instead. He said that past raffles have run on the same system.
Pederson’s concerns were shared by Supervisor Jan Way.
“It’s giving the illusion that if you get that (gift card) you have to get the gun and it maybe needs to be spelled out,” said Way.
Way said she had also expressed concern in the past over the raffled firearms and had elected to instead just make a donation to the Hull Fire Department rather that contribute to the raffle.
Fritsche wasn’t sure if the prize offerings should be changed.
“I don’t know,” said Fritsche. “It’s becoming more of hot topic in society.”
Fritsche said no prize winners or raffle ticket buyers had ever objected to the prizes offered.
Pederson also objected to the prizes being offered through a store in Wausau as opposed to a local retailer. Fritsche noted the objections for future raffles.
“I don’t think we need to put more firearms in the hands of people. I protest,” said Pederson. “I don’t think we as a town government should be supporting that kind of thing.”
The Hull Board of Supervisors meets again on November 9 at 5:30 PM. All meetings are held at the town office located at 4550 Wojcik Memorial Drive in Stevens Point.