As part of the Miracle on 34 Emergency Responders fundraiser held in Benkelman on Saturday, March 20, 2021, the family of the late Kenny “Dudes” McDonald’s, a longtime Benkelman firemen, donated his fire fighter helmet to the live auction. The special helmet, that was presented to Dudes on his retirement from the department, raised nearly $45,000 at the auction.
Here is the video of the helmet being auctioned off. During the auction Longtime Benkelman Fire Chief Relegene Zimbelman was overcome with emotion as he watched the moment unfold.
The Miracle on 34 fundraiser netted well over $200,000.00 for the Benkelman Fire Department and other local emergency responders and the 14 other mutual aid area fire departments that responded the Benkelman wildfire on January 15. Thanks to the efforts of the firemen and emergency responders, the flames only reached the edge of town and no buildings were lost and no one was hurt. They saved the town. The Miracle on 34 fundraiser and special event on March 20 was held to say “Thank You” to the emergency responders. Dude’s fire helmet was the final item auctioned off at the event.
See more photos and read more about the Miracle on 34 event in this week’s Benkelman Post newspaper.