COLUMBIA — In today’s times, smaller towns have to work hard to keep their fire and rescue departments functioning on a smaller budget. That’s why Todd Chandler, owner of Columbia Manor, was determined to give back to the community once his dream of owning and running a haunted house became reality 11 years ago.
“Opening a haunted house was a dream of mine for years,” he said. “With the town’s support. here we are and we are going strong.”
During a Columbia Town Council meeting Monday, Chandler gave the Columbia Fire/Rescue $9,645.18 from ticket sales, and $95.18 from donations given by visitors attending the haunted house.
“As a way of giving back to the community, for not only the town’s support for me, but for the support the town has shown the manor. I am proud to give back to the community,” he said. “Columbia Manor brings thousands of people to Columbia annually, and we are proud to call Columbia our home. Giving back to the community means a lot to all of us.
“I also want to thank all the customers who have helped make Columbia Manor a success. Without the town’s support, the volunteers and the customers, we could not give back to the community. So thank you all.”
The Columbia Fire/Rescue Department is a huge asset to the town, Chandler said, adding that the members are dedicated to making sure residents are served during an emergency situation. Columbia Manor is dedicated to supporting the department, he said.
During the past 11 years, Chandler has given more than $71,000 to the Columbia Fire/Rescue Department.
According to Columbia fire Chief Clint Wright, the donation will go toward replacing the funds used to repair the rescue’s front line ambulance and any equipment needed to help serve the residents of Columbia.
“We recently spent $6,800 on repairing the motor in our ambulance,” Wright said. “By spending that amount, we used a huge portion of our available funds, and this donation will go back in our available funds.”
Chandler reminds everyone renovations and plans are already underway for next year’s haunted event.