BEDFORD — Only 35 seconds passed between the sound of the starting horn and moment that the final vehicle crossed the finish line at Pulling for Hope. The contestants, scattered across the parking lot at Pennington Field, almost universally doubled over, cast their eyes to the sky, or dropped to the ground in an attempt to recover their strength. Each of 6 teams have just hauled around ten tons of metal across the lot. Collectively, they raised $150,117 by doing so.
Over the course of the last month, teams from the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District, Classic Chevrolet, US Concrete, and the cities from which HEB ISD draws its name each assembled a team to raise funds for Night of Hope. Now in its third year, the annual bus pull helps to cover one of our most expensive projects: Night of Hope. This year, our Christmas program will provide meals and gifts to 4,000 local students.
Even though it benefits 6 Stones, Pulling for Hope is not a 6 Stones event. It is organized independently by the teams who vie for bragging rights on the pavement each year. Previous competitions have helped those six teams to combine to cover about half the cost of Night of Hope. This year was no different.
Pulling for Hope began as a humble hypothetical in the Euless City Manager's office. Betsy Deck, who serves as Assistant to the City Manager in Euless, joined forces with Assistant City Manager Chris Barker to pitch the bus pull. Soon, all three cities were on board, along with the school district and longtime community partner Classic Chevrolet. This year, a sixth team joined the party: US Concrete, owners of the locally-based Redi-Mix Concrete brand.
Over the years, Pulling for Hope has come to reflect the core values we hold here at 6 Stones. Individually, no one would be able to pull a bus alone. Corporately, none of our organizations could hope to provide Christmas for 4,000 students. Without help, both tasks are more than daunting: they are impossible.
But a team of men and women, all with the same goal, each straining with all they have, can move thousands of pounds. Even team Redi-Mix, who ambitiously set out to haul a concrete truck instead of the standard school bus, were able to complete their herculean task by working together. At a disadvantage of around 1,400 pounds, Team Redi-Mix did well to finish within seconds of their competitors.
A mere eight-tenths of a second separated the top-finishing teams, and each received an extra time deduction because of their fundraising efforts. Euless, the reigning champion, finished with over $35,000 raised and a final time of 24.9 seconds. They were edged out for the trophy by Classic Chevrolet, who brought in a whopping $42,000. Bonus deductions brought Classic's final time to 23.5.
Each of the 6 teams was expected to bring in at least $15,000, and most left that goal far behind. Their collective efforts will provide Christmas to more than 2,500 children. That, combined with previous fundraising here at 6 Stones, leaves only 800 students in need of support.
Let's take a cue from the teams and strain toward that finish line!