Atmos Energy presented the Christiansburg Volunteer Fire Department with a $10,000 donation on Oct. 10. The donation is one of the largest the department has ever received from a single donor.
“When somebody breaks a gas line, their first call is 911 and these guys respond…they have our back,” Atmos Energy Operations Supervisor Perry Patterson said. “It’s truly a partnership in an emergency situation.”
This is the third consecutive year Atmos Energy has donated money raised from its annual Southwest Virginia 811 Run to the fire department. The 811 Run – which is an eight-mile and 5K race offered every August – is designed to raise awareness about the importance of calling 811 before digging in order to protect individuals from hitting underground utility lines.
Patterson said the number of 811 Run participants nearly doubled this year, from 70 to 127. In addition to Atmos, there were many contributors to the success of this year’s race, including Verizon and Virginia 811. Thanks to those supporters, several other donations and the registration fees, Atmos was able to make the $10,000 donation to the fire department.
Christiansburg Fire Chief Billy Hanks said the department plans to use the donation to purchase gas monitoring equipment.
“Atmos Energy has been a wonderful partner over the years and has previously donated $1,000 and $1,900 to us after their annual races,” Hanks said. “But to see a check for $10,000 was incredible. We are very lucky to have residents and businesses that are so supportive of our department and mission. We look forward to putting this money to good use by purchasing equipment that will help make our community safer.”