Saturday night marked the 17th year in a row that folks have attended the Boot Scootin’ Ball in Pottsboro to support Preston Volunteer Emergency Services, which serves the nearly 100-square-mile area surrounding Pottsboro.


The extra large indoor arena of the Bar-K R ranch once again offered shelter for the event that featured hundreds of boot-wearing ladies and gentlemen who showed their support for the emergency services providers by purchasing tickets to the event and bidding on the dozens of both live and silent auction items.


Jennita Wingate, one of the organizers of Saturday night’s event, said they start working on the fundraiser in January. She said physical work of turning the arena into a party space takes about a week but gathering up the auction items and getting everything else together takes up the rest of the time.


One of the most important decisions, she said, is making sure to pick a date in October that doesn’t clash with Austin College’s homecoming because the school’s students make up a huge part of the volunteer workforce that helps pull the event off each year. She said 117 AC students were on hand Saturday night helping with everything from parking to serving and beyond.


One of those students, Erin Laine, said this was her first year to volunteer for the event but she wanted to do it because it is an event that helps the local emergency services providers and it is seen as a “cool” event.


Wingate said the main hope for the auction for the evening was to raise $80,000 to go with a $200,000 grant that PVES received to purchase a fire truck. She said she expected, overall, the event will raise more than $200,000.


State Rep. Larry Phillips, one of dozens of local politicians to attend the event, said he likes the annual event because it draws people together to support a service almost anyone could need. He said the event draws together the people who live in the Pottsboro area year-round with those that are mostly there to enjoy the lake, and everyone just has a great time.