Truck Pullers Top $125,000 in Donations to Schools
By Paul Schaumburg, Graves County Schools
MAYFIELD, KY - The Graves County Truck Pullers Association announced Wednesday, Oct. 10, that its fifth annual truck and tractor pull held last August on the Mayfield-Graves County Fairgrounds raised altogether some $39,400 at the 2012 event. That brings the total for the first five years in the truck pull’s history to more than $125,000.
Truck Pullers spokesman Larry Wooley told the Graves County Board of Education and a crowd of approximately 50 people that he and friends Ricky Wilson, Kenny Wiggins, and Kenneth Wiggins wanted to turn their hobby into a charitable event to do good in the community. “What we found at that time was that each one of us had somebody in our family working for the Graves County Schools,” he explained.
“I don’t know how it does it, but it’s gotten tremendously bigger this year,” Wooley said, as he announced the pull itself generated some $31,300 this year. West Kentucky and Tennessee Rural Telephone Cooperative Corp. and its employees, and Wooley and his wife Denise, altogether donated some $1,700 in memory of the Wooleys’ late grandson. And, some $6,400 came from concession stand proceeds.
The school districts’ family resource and youth services centers co-sponsor the event. The Graves County FRYSCs earned some $2,500 operating one concession stand. Wingo Elementary earned $2,000 at its stand. And, Cuba Elementary earned $1,900 for its Jill McClain Memorial Scholarship Fund honoring the late Cuba principal who lost her battle with cancer in recent months.
The first five years of the annual truck pull has generated at least $126,200. Wooley and Wilson explained that that figure does not include some of the early concessions.
The vast majority of the money raised helps underprivileged students in the Mayfield and Graves County school districts to have a merry Christmas. Since the concession stand proceeds go either to the Christmas fund or school projects, it is accurate to say that all the profits benefit children in city and county public schools, Wooley noted.
“When we started this, we didn’t know if we could raise any money,” he told the crowd. “Well, you can,” someone in the crowd replied to laughter. Wooley grinned and continued, noting that numerous sponsors and average people throughout the area contribute, even if not all attend the event.
“We said that if we ever made $100,000, we’ll bring out our biggest sponsor,” he continued, introducing Jeff Flood and Jennifer Hawkins of H&R Agri-Power. The tractor dealership located at Ky. Highway 80 and the Ky. 121 By-pass is one of 13 locations the company has in Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, and Alabama. The brother and sister represented H&R owners Wayne and Steve Hunt, a father and son, respectively.
“If it weren’t for them, it wouldn’t have been nearly as possible back when we started as it is now,” Wooley said. “Not only that, but it’s enjoyment to work with H&R Agri-Power, because anything we want, they’re going to bend over backward to get it to us.”
“I’d just like to say on behalf of H&R Agri-Power and the Hunt Family that we’re very pleased to help in any way for such a fabulous cause and all the work you fellows do,” Flood said. “It’s just unbelievable. We’d just like to thank you for all you do!”
“We’re just glad to be a part of it,” Hawkins added. “Larry, Ricky, Kenny, and Kenneth do a great job and they do it out of the goodness of their hearts. Nobody knows how much they put into it. It’s a lot of work!”
Graves County Schools Superintendent Pete Galloway added his congratulations and thanks. “Not only do you provide a great holiday for a lot of kids in Mayfield and Graves County,” he told the Truck Pullers, “but what you’ve done is to show us what a good example of community-minded people is, of people who help people.”