Mice invade the firehouse!

Ray Scherer


It took a lot of scurrying around Saturday night just to raise some needed funds for the Hermann Volunteer Fire Department.


But a small group of talented rodents helped the department fulfill its mission in a special event held at Hermann Fire Station One.


Mouse races have become something of a decade-long tradition in the city, as a means of raising money for firefighters' needs on the job. Bruce Cox supervised the activity, which drew about 125 people to the station to coax their favorite mice on to victory. It was an idea that stemmed from Cox's time spent earlier with the High Ridge, Missouri, fire district.


"Let's try it," Cox recalled. "When I suggested it, that's how I got (the fund-raiser) started."


An assortment of 30 prizes greeted the race fans, with special giveaways and raffles held during the evening. Cox said all money raised from the event go directly toward firefighters' needs.


"It depends on what we're working on," he said, with the primary purpose of the funds intended for restoring and upgrading gear and other equipment.


More than 20 firefighters, and their wives in the Hermann Fire Auxiliary, assisted with the races, and served chili, hot dogs, pork burger, and other refreshments to the crowd.


"It's an all hands" request for help, said Cox.


No finals race was held, and patrons also had the chance to participate in a mouse roulette.


Racers featured such clever names as Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The prize list included meals, gift certificates, grills, and food or drink baskets.


The races typically have been successful in raising anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000 for the volunteer firefighters.