We just had our yearly Fireman's banquet and once again it was great. We did it a little different this year. We had a ham or roast beef dinner with potatoes, brussel sprouts, etc. The ladies brought the desserts. We first had social hour and this year we had a bunch of memorabilia and things from way back, lots of history displayed for everyone to look at. Then we had our dinner which was prepared by our chief and assistant chiefs all home made. Then after dinner was dessert (yummy). We then had our award presentation which was for officer of the year, junior firefighter of the year, senior firefighter of the year, plus we threw in 2 funny awards. After that my significant other and myself spent months on putting together a slide show with music of past times and current times at the fire house. The slide show was about an hour and everyone seemed to enjoy it.... Next year we would like to do something else. Any ideas?
We have a banquet each year in Dec. Ours sounds like yours, we have a social hour, dinner, awards presentation for junior firefighter, senior firefighter of the year and fireman of the year. After that some of the people leave and we have a a video of things that we have accomplished during the past year. After that, we have a dance, and give our funny gifts.
Our yearly dinner is before Christmas and we have a catered dinner served by the ladies from the local church at the church fellowship hall. Usually swiss steak, mashed potatoes and the usual trimmings. No social hour because of being at the church. Dinner is followed by local entertainment, usually choir group from school. Santa makes an early appearance and gifts are supplied by parents before hand. After Santa we have a short program to make any award presentations or special announcements. This year we announced that a special scholarship award would be made in the name of a deceased FD member whose family donated money to start a scholarship fund for graduating seniors of our fire department members. All FD members, past and present, their wives, family members are invited as well as special guests.
We seem to follow pretty much what the other guys do. We have a christmas party usually a week or two befor xmas. We get a local deli to do ham and turkey, and all the guys and gals bring side dishes of their choosing. One of the casinos down here donate the deserts. We'll take money from the the donation account and buy all the firefighters something, this past year we got coffee cups with the dept patch and names on them and some leather travel bags. Santa Claus shows up and gives out the gifts as well as presents for all the young ones and we just gather round and have a good ol time for a couple hours.
We do the party thing and invite the area chiefs and presidents. We used to have a live band but then it died for a while. The last couple of years it picked back up. We get pretty rowdy during awards and then we have a toast after the ceremony.
What we have is an appreaciation dinner for our spouses, and it is also an awards and recognition ceremony at the same time. We hold it every year in January, this year they had Filet or Chicken with roasted veggies, salad, and dessert. Its always a pretty good time.
Every year we have a banquet around January. We have a prime rib dinner (very good!) with all the sides. Then we thank our wives for understanding why we do what we do and when the pager goes off, they know that we are going to help someone. We then move into our funny awards. These are just awards that members get when they do something "stupid". ex. last year I forgot my extrication gloves when we were going to a training. My award was i got a pair of gloves with a long chain attached to both. Then come the serious awards. Firefighter of the year, training awards, rookie of the year, public safety awards. After its all done, we then move onto sitting around, having a few drinks and talking about the last year.
We give out pins for calls. We have the 100 club for the people that make 100 calls and then there is the 150 and 200 club as well. It is rather nice cause more then one member can receive a pin for making one of the categories. I think the slide show is a really neat idea though....
Our annual banquet is also our installation of officers. We hold this at a local restaurant, invite the county fire co-ordinator, reps of our mutual aid depts, the sheriffs and state police. Until last year members were free and guests (spouses/dates ) had to be paid for by the member, we changed that ...much to the grumbling of the guys who "hide" at the station and don't want to take their wives out. We have a choice of prime rib, chicken or fish, appetizer buffet, dessert buffet, open bar. We have dinner, swear in the officers and then most people go home...leaving just a few of us to hang out and enjoy the DJ.
This year we are going to have a "roast" of our outgoing chief because he can take a joke...now if the rest of the dept will find it funny I don't know or care because sometime they need to get over themselves.
Last year my husband and I put together a video presentation since it was the dept 125th anniversary...and got asked to do another one for this year...guess I better start working on that too.
BTW we hold our banquet in April.