CDL Life knows that when their communities need them, truck drivers go beyond the call of duty and take part in many charities to help others. They create convoys, they deliver pets, toys and help military families if needed. This last week in South Bend, Indiana was no different.
SOUTH BEND — Can a 66-year-old woman pull a semi-truck? It happened on Saturday morning outside the College Football Hall of Fame. Of course, Jane Pellow did so with a lot of help from her friends.
Pellow was one of hundreds who took part in the fourth annual Our Towne Truck Pull and Community Faire in downtown. Pellow, holding onto the long rope attached to the Towne Air Freight semi with 19 other people, dragged the semi 12 feet against the clock.
“It’s easier than I thought,” Pellow said afterwards. “Much easier. You would never think pulling a semi was so easy; it was like pulling a little red wagon with a child inside.
“It was a lot of fun, and I’d do it again.”
The truck pull — held to benefit the South Bend Education Foundation — paired schools with local businesses or organizations. The businesses paid a $1,000 entry fee for the school they were representing to go toward the cause.
There were also face painting, a mini tractor pull and other games for children. The event also offered vendor tables with college entry information, vision and dental screenings, student savings programs and more.
Across the street at the Century Center, the Junior League Thrift Shop sold polo shirts and pair of khaki pants for $5, sponsored by the Big Ten Partnership of the Indiana and Purdue University alumni.
But the truck pull commanded the attention early. Bob Montel, 46, of Mishawaka, and Jim Hoffman, 47, of Osceola, pulled for Forest G. Hay Primary Center as the defending champions. Asked what the keys to pulling a semi were, Montel took a light approach.
“We work out all year in preparation for this event,” he said jokingly. “The older you get, the harder it becomes.”
“The Education Foundation does a lot for the South Bend community,” Hoffman added.
The event truly was for all ages. Tara Gilchrist, of Mishawaka, pulled with her 9-year-old son, Cole Potter, and 18-year-old daughter, Kennedy Runyon.
“We did a couple weeks of fundraising and a lot of work to get ready for this,” Gilchrist said. “As for athletically, not really. I got a coffee and did a brisk walk to get ready.
“It’s harder than you think. It’s like a tug of war.”
Cole was actually inserted into the lineup at the last second and said he had fun.
“I didn’t feel like I did any of the work,” he said. “It went very fast.”
South Bend Community School Corp. Superintendent Carole Schmidt was on hand and thanked the participants for showing up.
“This is a fabulous opportunity for the community to come together and support the South Bend schools and South Bend Education Foundation,” she said.
Written by Staff writer Tom Moor: