TICONDEROGA - Dennis Johnson is an optimist.
The president of the Ticonderoga Emergency Squad believes his group can raise the money to construct a new emergency services facility sooner than later.
"We hope to break ground within a year," Johnson said. "That's our goal. I believe we can do it."
The town of Ticonderoga has sold land for the new ambulance building to the squad for $1 - with conditions.
The squad must have the money for a new facility in hand in two years and construction must be complete in another two years or the land, located at the site of the former Ticonderoga Civic Center between The Portage and Lake Champlain Avenue, reverts back to town ownership.
To kick-off fundraising efforts, the squad is raffling a 2005 Honda Shadow VLX 600 motorcycle. The bike was donated by Johnson and his wife, Sue.
The bike, with a mural of beach scene on its gas tank, was featured in the December 2005 edition of V-Twin magazine. It has 833 miles on it.
Tickets, priced at $10 each, are now on sale from Ti Emergency Squad members or by calling the Johnsons are 503-5068.
Now on display at Tony's Ti Sports, the motorcycle will also be displayed at Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, Jay's Sunoco and the Best Western in Ticonderoga as well as at Aviation Mall in Glens Falls and Diamond Run Mall in Rutland, Vt.
Dennis Johnson hopes the bike raffle will raise $15,000.
Squad members will also hold coin drops at the Ticonderoga Wal-Mart during Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. Other fundraising events are also being planned.
Donations, though, will not cover the cost of the new building. The squad has applied to a federal program for grant money to match local donations.
The actual cost and design of a new ambulance building is yet to be determined, the squad president said. Squad officials have had informal talks with architects and contractors, but there is no exact plan.