Pull a fire truck for change – United Way challenge

Published on August 21, 2014

NEW GLASGOW – Alone, it would be near impossible to pull a fire truck 50 feet, but together, that’s another story.

The United Way of Pictou County is appealing to the community’s competitive side for a tug-of-war to end all tug-of-wars.

“To us, it spoke volumes,” said Jessica Smith, executive director, using the fundraiser as a metaphor for what a community can do when they band together.

Though it’s the local organization’s first time holding Pulling For Change, others around the country have brought communities together to pull buses, and planes.

For Pictou County, a fire truck was a bit more feasible with the Alma Fire Department donating one for the day.

Smith said in this case, it’s more about the event, rather than raising the funds.  

“We wanted to do something really fun and engage the community.”

They hope to have other trucks on display and fun activities for kids.

They’re using it to kick off their annual fundraising campaign, and encouraging the community to either join a team or come out for the show.

It’s important to help one another in a community, Smith said, which is what United Way aims to do by funding programs and services that “offer a helping hand.”

“(We have to) support one another, especially in this tough time.”

United Way is one of the largest non-government funders of social services in the area with an estimated reach of more than 12,000 people in the county.

They raise money through events and workplace donations through payroll deductions, rounding up $311,040 last year.

Pulling For Change teams, 10 members strong, each have to raise a minimum of $100, or an average of $10 per person.

Though they haven’t had any teams register just yet, with the deadline being Sept. 15, Smith said she knows some are in the works with at least one team already planning a strategy.

They’re hoping to garner 20 teams for the timed event.

The goal – pull a 20,000-pound fire truck 50 feet.

The prize – bragging rights, and awards for fastest time, most spirited/best dressed, and best effort.

Rain or shine, the community will show off their brawn on Sept. 21.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. while the actual pulling starts at 10 a.m.



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