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News Community Relay for Life Pulling for a Cure

‘Pull! Pull! Pull!!!’ Franklin teams pull a fire truck for cancer research

Franklin Plaza was packed on Saturday morning, April 30, as hundreds of people gathered to support Franklin's fifth annual American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life’s Fire Truck Pull fundraiser.

The event featured many activities besides the fire truck pull, including a smoke house demonstration by the emergency medical services that teaches local youth how to exit a house that is on fire. A “pie-inthe- face” auction, raffles and bingo were a few of the games played at the event.

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The FHS football team pulls the fire truck 20 feet during the first round at a time of 11 seconds. Photos by Davin Eldridge“We came for the face painting, local food, and fun for the kids,” said Nick Birchard, of Franklin, who brought his children, Olivia and Caden with him. “It’s great that there is so much to do here.”

At 10 a.m., the main event began with 11 teams competing with one another by pulling a fire truck 20 feet across the parking lot in the fastest time possible. Caterpillar, Franklin Fire Department, Junaluskee Masonic Lodge, FHS Panthers and Cheer and the Macon County Sheriff's Office were just a few of the teams.

The Otto Fire Department had a team signed up, but could not attend because of their volunteer work in Rabun County after the recent onslaught of tornados devastated the area.

The first round ended in a tie between Mountain Valley, Caterpillar, and the Franklin Fire Department, whose times were all within a fraction of a second of one another. Caterpillar, which has been a major sponsor over the years according to organizers, was also defending its title as Pull Champions since the 2006 event.

County Commissioner Ronnie Beale presents the Junaluskee Masonic Lodge with its first place honorary fireman’s axe, after they won the competition with a time of 9.19 seconds.Mountain Valley Fire Department dedicated their effort in memory of the mother of team member Jerry Tallent, who lost her fight with cancer last year. Tallent said that he was “really pleased” with the department’s victory. Tallent, who spoke on behalf of the department, said that being awarded with the first place trophy and honorary fireman’s axe could only be described as “unbelievable.”

After the pull came a game of bingo and the piein- the-face auction. Spectators contributed nearly $100 to see FHS Panthers coach Bob Kuppers receive three whipped cream pies to his face. “What a great day, the truck pull was amazing,” he said. “We only give our time for a great cause. We have some good hearted citizens out here ... It’s always fun to take a pull.”

According to event organizer Darlene Green, the fifth annual event raised a record breaking $5,000 for cancer research. “We did really good this year,” she said, thanking the community for its support. “That’s a lot of money.”

Franklin High School Cheer, along with the help of some friends, pull a fire truck in record time – 6.07 seconds. Photos by Davin EldridgeFor more information on how to contribute or donate to the Relay for Life program, you can visit their Web site at www.relayforlife.org.

1st Place: Junaluskee Masonic Lodge #145 - Time: 9.19 seconds
2nd Place: Caterpillar Track Hoes - Time: 10.13 seconds
3rd Place: Franklin Panthers - Time: 10.50 seconds

Other Teams (in order pulled, not times):

Law Dawgs - 13.34
Whitley Warriors - 12.03
Franklin Fitness Force - 11.41
Mona's Boys - 14.19
2nd Shift Cell Mates - 11.91
Waylon's Girls - 19.19
Mountain Valley Fire - 11.41
Franklin Fire and Rescue - 10.80
FHS Cheerleaders (with support) - 6.07

Otto Fire Department (on duty - not able to pull)

Nick Burchard brought son, Caden, and daughter, Olivia, to the truck pull. The Birchards attended the event for several reasons, including the local food and fire truck helmets.


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