The 1st Annual Vermilion Fire Truck Pulls were held on 49th Avenue in support of Muscular Dystrophy on September 14.
Approximately 200 spectators gathered to watch as four teams battled pulling the approximate 27,000 pound load. Deputy Mayor, Robert Pulyk pointed out that the event was not only a first in Vermilion, but a first in Alberta.
“Muscular Dystrophy is a broad diagnosis and it affects more people than you would think. It’s nice to see so many people out having fun and supporting a great cause,” said organizing committee member Kaylyn Gordon.
Committee Chair, Meagan Dyjur added, “We are thankful for the awesome turnout! It means a lot to me personally because I have Muscular Dystrophy. I began showing symptoms at 14 years old when I began having a hard time running in gym class. I was diagnosed at 19 years of age and have since had more challenges with stairs and can no longer run. It will eventually progress to the point where I will be unable to walk anymore. I had a better time after meeting friends at the Edmonton Chapter, and am incredibly grateful for the help I have received for this event. 50,000 Canadians have Muscular Dystrophy. Whether you donated, shared a link, or attended; you made a difference!”
Before the pulls got underway, eager to participate and fundraise to make a difference, member of the Vermilion Fire Department Team, Joe Zizek said, “We are ecstatic!”
Jay Howells, a firefighter from St. Albert and member of the national fire fighter relations committee emceed the event, and 30-year member of Muscular Dystrophy Canada’s Mike Mickelson was also in attendance. Howells pointed out that firefighters in Alberta have been raising funds for Muscular Dystrophy since 1954 through campouts and other events. The Fire Truck Pulls began in Eastern Canada and Mickelson is hoping they continue to grow across the country.
“All of the proceeds will be donated to Muscular Dystrophy Canada to provide much needed equipment. What we want to do is find a cure, and today we are one step closer. To the firefighters; thank you for everything that you do not only today, but every day of the year,” said Howells.
Children had fun completing several mini fire training challenges, and McDonald’s Family Foods donated the supplies for the barbeque while ATCO Gas donated the barbeque and gas. Muscular Dystrophy Canada donated the ropes and Lakeland College Emergency Training Centre donated the truck and driver. Onlookers enjoyed a 50/50 and an auction of challenge coins. Teams included the Vermilion Fire Department, County of Minburn Fire Departments, Emergency Services Technology students, and the Meg (family of Meagan Dyjur). Metal plaques were made by Cale Staden and donated by The Machine Shop and Kinect Physiotherapy. After gritty effort shown forth and many close times, an award was presented for the Fastest Time to the Emergency Services Technology students. The Meg was the recipient of the Better Luck Next Time award, as well as the Most Spirited Award. With much excitement, plans are already in the works and next year’s date is set for September 12.