CRESTON, Mont. -

Some came for the smaller items, and others came for the big tickets, but the annual Creston Auction isn?t just about the goods.

?It really is a community event, and a big part of our funding here at the fire department,? said Julie Lang.

About 25 percent of the money from each item sold goes to the all-volunteer Creston fire department. This year, the money will help the team put the finishing touches on the new training center.

?It?s so great to see such support for the emergency responders, and all the volunteers who go out to fight the fires and answer medical calls.?

Last year, the department raked in about $25,000, and with an estimated several thousand people that showed up this year, the firefighters are hoping for another big chunk of funding, but they say it?s about more than that.

?Creston doesn?t really have a town center like Kalispell or Whitefish,? said Lange. ?But it does have a real tightknit community. This is the time of year when everyone gets together and gets to see their old friends.

TJ Hayek stopped by to clean up as part of Lakeview Livestock 4H?s community service efforts.

?The auction is fun because you get to see friends and family,? said Hayek.

Joseph Schropshier showed up with a strong tie to the firefighters? mission.

?I believe it?s pretty cool,? said Schropshier. ?It benefits an organization that?s here to help people. Being an ex-firefighter myself, I see the a potential helping a local community and its district.?

At the end of the day, people from as far away as Canada headed home with their auction winnings, and their profits, leaving the Creston firefighters with the best prize of all: the support of a community.