ADAMS, Mass. — A group of North County firefighters are hoping to turn a small motorcycle club into a non-profit agency.
The local branch of Fire and Iron, a nationwide motorcycle club for firefighters, have been organizing fundraisers for local charities since their 2006 formation and donating all of their income each year.
However, without nonprofit status, they have been unable to give businesses who donate the proper information for tax purposes, according to President Cory Adelt. Attaining nonprofit status could help the club do even more for local charities by increasing donations.
"We've been wanting to do this since we started but we never had the extra cash to do so," Adelt said of lawyer fees to file the paperwork with the state. "We get donations from businesses but we have nothing to give them... maybe a handwritten note."
To raise the funds for an attorney, the group organized the first fundraiser that will benefit the club.
The event is to "help us help you" by increasing the organization's ability to fund raise, Adelt said.
"We don't have a building to pay for or anything and there is no reason for us to take a profit," Adelt said of the group of about 14 volunteer firefighters from Adams, Cheshire and Clarksburg, and Stamford, Vt.
The group formed out of the Adams Fire Department and has maintained its membership and involvement. With a few years and events under their belt, members have gotten to the point where they feel they can do more and be more in the public eye.
Recently, they held a separate local motorcycle run for those who could not attend the annual Fall Run and raised about $700 for Shriners Children's Hospital in Springfield — presenting the check at the North Adams event. They've also held a motorcycle run to help with medical bills for Adams resident Zack Porio, who was paralyzed in a dirt bike accident.
They've donated to the Boy Scouts and the Florida Fire Department and donated their time to help the Northern Berkshires ROPES program. Outside of the county, they attend and help fundraisers the other chapters in the Northeast are holding.
"It's all about local charity and helping fire departments," Adelt said. "We try to switch up events."
With the members working full time and volunteering with fire departments, the organization isn't planning on organizing any major annual events but instead hosting many smaller events for a variety of charities.
"We branch out a lot of different areas," Adelt said, adding that at the group's annual meeting in January, members will be choosing events and any charity that would like help should contact them.
Adelt said they want their next event to be for a veterans services agency but have yet to finalize the details.
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