Four Rotary Clubs and community organizations from Okaloosa County pulled together recently to raise more than $15,000 for a major project at Twin Cities Pavilion in Niceville. The Community Fire Truck Pull attracted 16 10-person teams who paid $250 to see who could pull a fire truck 50 feet in the fastest time. Funds raised will be used to refurbish the TCP’s front entrance area used by residents for sitting and relaxing outdoors.
East Niceville Fire Rescue provided the fire truck, with local fire departments teaming up to run the competition itself. Playing host was 3rd Planet Brewing and Bay Area Awards donated the winners’ trophies and team medallions. The Rotary Clubs of Mid-Bay Bridge, Niceville/Valparaiso, Destin and Fort Walton Beach, along with the Knights of Columbus from Christ Our Redeemer and Holy Name Catholic churches, supported the effort with donations, planning and staffing. Crosspoint Church in Niceville donated generously to the cause and Advance Concrete Supply committed to donating the upcoming concrete work.
Winning teams received trophies and the “pullers” took home individual medallions. The brewery provided cash or gift cards to the top three teams.
The event came about when Mid-Bay Rotarian Bob Hoffman identified the TCP’s need for porch resurfacing and contacted additional Rotaries in Okaloosa County. The idea then expanded to other service groups. A local concrete resurfacing company offered to do the concrete work at no cost. The Rotary clubs maintained their funding pledges, because the awning over the porch needed to be repaired, sandblasted and painted. However, more money was needed, so, the community groups led by Hoffman as chair agreed to sponsor the fire truck pull also.
“It was great to see how many organizations came together for the planning and execution of the pull,” said Steve Wolfrom, Mid-Bay Bridge Rotary president. “Identifying a need, rallying community support and pulling off the event is the direct result of the organizations working together. Our goal was met. But, I think the model put together to do a fun community event can be repeated in our area in the future.”