Key Peninsula Fire Chief Guy Allen is happy for the support of Bill Taylor and the community. Photo by Hugh McMillan, KPNews

Friends of Key Peninsula Fire District 16 may be small in number — right now it consists of Bill and Petty Taylor — but their goal is lofty: to raise upward of $30,000 to purchase new defibrillators that will replace the current department units that are aging and soon-to-be obsolete.

The couple moved to the Key Peninsula after Bill Taylor spent years working overseas in banking. They purchased their property near Vaughn decades ago with the idea of one day settling here, and built their home six years ago. a

Being money-minded in his professional career spilled over into his personal life and he’s always made a habit of supporting groups and organizations in whatever community the couple lived, whether it was in North America, South America, Asia, Europe or the Middle East.

“We looked at different alternatives for who we could raise money, such as the library, the Red Barn, the police or the fire department,” Taylor said. “We want to do something that is beneficial for the community.”

After speaking with Fire District 16 Chief Guy Allen, Taylor said his mind was made up.

Want to donate?
To donate to the inaugural Benefit Concert by the Sea to raise funds for the Key Peninsula Fire District 16’s need to replace its defibrillators, send donations to Friends of KP Fire department, P.O. Box 536, Vaughn, WA 98394, or make a donation to an account set up at Chase Manhattan Bank, account No. 992013243. For information and map coordinates, email taylorjwilliam@hotmail.com.

Taylor found out the department has a desperate need to replace its aging fleet of defibrillators (lifesaving tools for monitoring and shocking hearts into viable rhythms), four large units and a host of smaller portable automated electronic defibrillators (AEDs). Taylor said he found out the company that services the units will no longer be servicing them next year and one of the large units is already out of commission.

They aren’t cheap to replace, coming in between $30,000 to $40,000 each, Allen said. He added the department has been unsuccessful to this point in acquiring a grant for the funding of the units.

To replace all the units in the district, he said it would be in the neighborhood of $186,000.

“Mr. Taylor came to us and proposed an idea” for fundraising, Allen said. “Initially, I didn’t know if he could pull it off, but he’s a pretty determined guy.”

What Taylor is proposing is a big band concert on the water, and only accessible by boat.

He has been successful in the past, he said, in South America when he hosted a concert on land to raise funds for an orphanage.

The county’s many permits and questions made a land concert on his property unfeasible, so he decided to host a “water” concert where the band is on the shore and plays for an audience gathered on boats anchored nearby.

He has arranged for Pugetbrass, a British brass band comprised of 25 musicians, to come to his property which has beach front along the east side of Case Inlet, about a half-mile south of Vaughn Bay entrance.

The free concert will take place 4 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 5. He will accept donations, but stresses the concert is free so people can enjoy the music. Taylor said he is aware they won’t raise very much passing around a bucket. He hopes to raise the funds “inviting people who are particularly important donors to have dinner in our home.”

There will be two 45-minute sets with a break between and the KP Fire Department plans to have its fireboat on display during the concert.

“That would be amazing, if it were true, that he could raise enough money,” Allen said. “That would be $40,000 savings that we could apply to other needs. We’re not short of needs.”

If the benefit is successful, Taylor would like to do this again next year, again to benefit the fire department. “I hope people have a good time,” he said. “But this is a cause that is very serious and I hope people will contribute.”

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