Osceola VFD collecting donations for SD town

Separated by state lines and hours of travel, these two towns are forever linked.

OSCEOLA, Neb. (KLKN) – Osceola and Castlewood, South Dakota, are forever linked because of a single fire engine.

In March 2020, the Osceola Volunteer Fire Department was searching for a buyer for its old and soon-to-be-replaced Engine 1. The department found one around five hours away, in Castlewood.

“They came here; they stayed at our fire hall,” said Osceola VFD Chief Toby Watts. “The night before we sat down with them and had a meal with them.”

Despite the miles between the two places, there was plenty they had in common.

“Talking hunting and fishing and the things that we did,” Watts remembers. “Later that night, guys around here like to play pitch, so they were doing that, and they taught my guys how to play cribbage. So it was kind of an intermixing between the two departments.”

This month, Castlewood was hit by a tornado that ripped right through the middle of town.

After seeing photos of the destruction, “We kind of started talking,” Watts said. “We thought it’d be kind of nice if we had some show of support for Castlewood.”

Knowing there were already plenty of people coming from out of town to assist, Osceola VFD’s best option was financial support.

Tying the whole effort into Osceola’s 150th anniversary celebration planned for the Fourth of July, the firefighters are trying to bring in as much money as possible, and there’s no hard date on when they’ll stop accepting donations.

Donations can be mailed to Osceola Fire and Rescue, Box 255, Osceola, NE 68651. Please mark your check “Castlewood benefit.” If you’d like to stay up to date on the effort, check out the Osceola Fire and Rescue Facebook page.

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