During the season of giving, Badger State Tractor Pullers (BSTP) provide holiday hope to sick kids with a $40,000 donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and American Family Children's Hospital during the organization's banquet on Dec. 1 in Wisconsin Dells.
To raise the $40,000 given to the two children's hospitals, tractor and truck pullers from all nine classes donated their entire purse earnings, along with admissions, raffle, food and beverage sales from the Association's 11th annual "Pull for Hope" held last June in Prairie du Sac.
"This year's donation marks the largest in the history of BSTP's "Pull for Hope" benefit," says Greg Elsing, president of BSTP Association. "In the last 11 years, BSTP has donated $220,000 to St. Jude and American Family Children's Hospital to help find cures for children with cancer and other devastating diseases."
One of the grateful recipients, American Family Children's Hospital of Madison, shared with the group why sick kids can't wait.
"This wonderful donation couldn't have come at a better time," says Terri Spring, development program coordinator of American Family Children's Hospital. "We're often at or near capacity so we've launched a campaign to add more beds and equipment to our hospital. The generosity of BSTP will allow us to treat more sick kids from Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. For the next three months gifts are being matched, so your $20,000 gift will have double the impact."
Tractor pullers are helping local kids like, Austin who has weekly treatments for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at American Family Children's Hospital.
Another organization celebrating 50 years of finding cures and saving kids' lives is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Associate Director of the Midwest Regional Office for St. Jude, Danielle Prestipino shared how their hospital is grateful for the BSTP donation.
"The Badger State Tractor Pullers continue to support the mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Their support raises awareness to the local community and funds that go toward the current research and treatment of our patients. This is a special group of people that come together year after year to support St. Jude, and we are truly grateful for the impact they make in the lives of our families."
During the evening, more than 300 tractor pullers, sport-enthusiasts and sponsors honored the organization's founders and celebrated 2012 class champions.
Two pioneers of the sport, Bruce Bjorge and Duane Hook, were inducted into the BSTP Hall of Fame.
Class champions were recognized for their consistently strong performance throughout the 2012 pulling season, including:
• David Baker, Polo, IL, 466 Hot Farm Tractors;
• Scott Olson, Monroe, 640 Pro Farm Tractors;
• Aaron Kleckler, Winslow, IL, Light Limited Super Stock Tractors;
• Dan Viney, Cottage Grove, Super Farm;
• Jake Luther, Baraboo, Limited Pro Tractors;
• Randy Barreau, Baraboo, Pro Stock Tractors;
• Mike Derr, Johnson Creek, 4-Wheel Drive Super Stock Trucks;
• Jared Ripp, Dane, 4-Wheel Drive Diesel Trucks; and
• Wayne Timmerman, Cuba City, 2-Wheel Drive Trucks
Special awards were handed out to pullers. Favorite Sled of the Year: Terminator driven by Brad Kruchten; Favorite Pull of the Year: Darlington; Promoter of the Year: Greg Elsing, BSTP President; Sportsman of the Year: Randy Barreau; Rookie of the Year: Al Karls; Hard Luck Award: Brandon Coates, Dan Hannis Super Farm Sportsmanship: Chuck Guentenberg and Driver of the Year 2012: Dave Baker.
To learn more about the Badger State Tractor Pullers schedule for the 2013 summer season, visit www.bstponline.org.
Badger State Tractor Pullers (BSTP) formed in 1972 with the goal of organizing a pulling league with a standard and regulated set of rules. Over the years, they have grown to be a highly competitive contender on the national level.
BSTP events are held in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. Many BSTP pullers also compete in various elite pulls, including the National Farm Machinery Show, Louisville, KY; Midwest Winter National, Gifford, IL; the Southern Illinois Winter Shoot Out, DuQuoin, IL; and various other shows in New York, South Carolina, etc.
In 2006, BSTP became associated with their parent organization, Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League; and, together, they hold 400 pulling events around the Midwest every year.
BSTP classes include pro stock tractors, limited pro tractors, super farm tractors, light limited super stock tractors, pro farm tractors, 466 hot farm tractors, 4x4 super stock trucks and 4x4 pro street diesel tractors.
American Family Children's Hospital is a comprehensive pediatric medical and surgical center featuring nationally recognized pediatric specialists in a wide range of fields, including faculty from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health.
Named for a generous gift from American Family Insurance and located in Madison, the state-of-the-art facility wins widespread praise for its expert care and a warm, soothing atmosphere that enhances a child's ability to heal. Learn more at http://www.uwhealthkids.org/.
Since opening 50 years ago, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has changed the way the world treats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
No family ever pays St. Jude for the care their child receives and, for every child treated here, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries.
The hospital has played a pivotal role in pushing U.S. pediatric cancer survival rates from 20 to 80 percent overall, and is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children.
It is also a leader in the research and treatment of blood disorders and infectious diseases in children.
St. Jude was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who believed that no child should die in the dawn of life. Join that mission by visiting www.stjude.org.