Members of the Seminole High School Band participate in the Kiwanis Fire Truck Pull at the 2013 Seminole Pow Wow.
SEMINOLE – For the past seven years, one of the highlights of the annual Seminole Pow Wow Festival has been the fire truck pull.
Teams of people, young and old alike, grab onto a rope and pull a fire truck for 100 feet in a competition to see who can do it the fastest.
This year’s competition takes place March 9 in the parking lot of the Seminole Library during the Pow Wow Festival.
It’s never too early to begin to line up teams and sponsors for the event, and that is what organizer Wayne Madasey has been hard at work doing. Madasey has been involved with the event, which is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Seminole, for the past three years and has seen it grow considerably.
“Around the time I took over, there were five teams and six or eight sponsors,” he said. “Since then we’ve averaged about 20 sponsors and 11 teams. This year, hopefully, we’ll get more, especially from the high school; we’d like to get 12 or 14 teams.”
The teams that participate in the event aren’t just restricted to the schools. In fact, Madasey said there are a wide variety of categories.
“Of course we have the high school and middle school teams,” he said. “We also have adult men teams, adult females, adult mixed teams, men and women, and there is the teen mixed division.”
There are also teams from businesses and that is where the Kiwanis makes its money from the event. A business pays $150 as a sponsor and gets to enter a team. The money raised goes to the various programs supported by the Kiwanis Club.
“In March we have a program called ‘(Every) Child a Swimmer’ at the Seminole Rec Center,” said Madasey. “We take 120 kids who are 10 years or older and bring them into the pool. Most of them can’t swim, but after 10 or 12 days they can either swim or handle themselves in the water. We have a 95 percent passing rate in that program.”
In addition to that, the Kiwanis Club puts a lot of money into the Horses for Handicapped program.
“We support that program to the tune of $15 to 18,000 for the upkeep of the horses,” he said. “We also give $6,000 to graduating seniors in scholarships. All our proceeds go toward helping those programs.”
Madasey said the fire truck pull isn’t the only fundraiser the club is involved in during the year. He said the Christmas tree sale every year is important, too.
“We sold 249 trees in 12 days this year and made over $4,000 from that,” he said.
For now, however all the attention is going toward the fire truck pull to make sure that it is successful.
Wendy Strickland has participated in the event for the past three years. She works at Allen Sports and has entered a team from that company each year.
“It is very fun. I get a group of my girlfriends and we bring our kids and they get to pull the truck too on their own team,” she said. “It is fun and a good community event for Seminole.”
Strickland said she can remember the first time she pulled a fire truck and what it was like.
“It feels very heavy,” she said. “It feels heavy, but once it starts it comes along pretty well. But it isn’t easy; it is definitely heavy to pull.”
Madasey said he looks forward to the event every year because it involved so many people who are attending the Pow Wow Festival.
“We not only have plenty of teams, but lots of spectators as well,” he said. “It is announced at the carnival and you can see the people come over to watch it. We always have good attendance and it is a fun event.”
Madasey says being the organizer gives him the best job of the day.
“I’ve got the megaphone so I get to announce the events,” he said. “It really is a fun day.”