Spring Sportsmen’s Show April 5-6

By Jennie Acklin

The Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department Spring Sportsmen’s Show will take place April 5-6, 2014, at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds.

Event Chairman Jim Miller said the show has been held for 24 years and is a fundraiser for the Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department. Miller, a member of the fire department, explained the importance of holding the event.

“We use proceeds from the show to go towards equipment,” Miller said.

This cost of equipment includes both the maintenance and replacement of old equipment. Miller has been compiling the proceeds from the 2014 spring and fall Sportsmen’s Shows to purchase a thermal imaging camera, an estimated $10,000 expense.

According to Miller, “A thermal imaging camera allows the FDLV firemen to locate hot spots inside walls, ceiling and roofs without tearing them down. Seeing inside walls or ceiling reduces the potential safety risks to fire fighters. The new camera can also be used for locating missing person in thick woods, or locating a lost child.”

The camera that is on order also has a video feature, which will be used at the scene of fires, during rescues to aid the firemen in locating hotspots or to review footage for training purposes.

The Spring Sportsmen’s Show will feature a wide array of sporting equipment, including fishing tackle, sporting goods and modern firearms.

“We have approximately 50 vendors with 150 tables,” said Miller. “And several new vendors that haven’t been here before.”

Whether attendees are fishermen or hunters preparing for the upcoming turkey season, these vendors will display “just about anything” a sportsman might need.

The Cattaraugus County Pistol Clerk will also be available for attendees wishing to purchase firearms. A national instant criminal background check will be completed before any firearms are sold.

If attendance is the same as in recent years, Miller said there could be between 1,500 and 2,000 people attending the show throughout the weekend. He said the show has attracted visitors from various areas within an approximate 125-mile radius. Miller attributes the successful turnout to show marketing, as well as regional show he visits. He also drops off flyers and information all over the area.

Besides attending the sportsmen’s show, Miller mentioned another way people can help the fire department — volunteer.

“FDLV used to have a 75-member department when he joined several years ago. Now it is down to just 30 members. The ideal size is around 50 members. Every fire department throughout the county is hurting for volunteers, not just us,” he said. “If anyone wants to join, we could always use extra hands.”

The geographic range of the Little Valley Fire Department is all of Little Valley, town and village, east to the Dublin Heights area, south to the Salamanca town line, west to Napoli, and north to the Eddyville/Maples area.

Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to contact Jim Miller at (716) 938-6928, or to contact Chief Kyle Gross at the fire station.

The Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department Spring Sportsmen’s Show will take place at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds at 501 Erie St. in Little Valley. Hours are Saturday, April 5, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., and Sunday, April 6 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Refreshments are available. Admission is $5.  Children ages 12 and under are free.