FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Hamre’s Funeral Chapel in Fort St. John is inviting residents to help give its old hearse a unique send-off this weekend.

The Funeral Chapel has teamed up with the local Rotary Club and the Fort St. John Firefighters Charitable Society for the ‘Take a Swing at Death’ fundraiser, which is taking place in the lot across the street from the Lido Theatre.

Darlene Hamre said that though a number of local residents expressed interest in buying the hearse after the Funeral Chapel bought a replacement vehicle, they declined out of respect to the families who have used the hearse over the course of its life.

Hamre explained that instead of selling the hearse to a buyer out of town, the Funeral Chapel decided to turn the hearse’s retirement into a fundraiser.

The Funeral Chapel has raised its goal of $15,000 by selling decals on the hearse to local businesses, many of them in memory of loved ones. $5,000 will go the Rotary Club, while $10,000 will go to the Firefighters Charitable Society.

A list of the sponsors in Hamre’s Take a Swing at Death fundraiser. Photo by Chris Newton

On Saturday, residents will be able to make an additional donation to the Firefighters, and in exchange will get to take a swing at the hearse with a sledgehammer. The firefighters will also be hosting a barbecue lunch at the fundraiser.

Hamre added that at the end of the fundraiser, the hearse will get flattened by a D8 Cat before being taken to the scrapyard.

Firefighters Charitable Society president Adam Winn said that since the Society launched its campaign of supporting local residents with travel medical expenses, by tomorrow they’ll have raised $110,000 to the cause.

The Take a Swing at Death fundraiser is taking place in the vacant lot across 102nd St. from the Lido Theatre this Saturday, September 22nd, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.