An extra element has been added to the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Marianna. Set for March 16 from 2-6 p.m., the party will include a truck pull, in which 10 -member teams will grab a thick, heavy rope and pull a big pink fire truck 20 to 25 feet. The team that finishes with the fastest time wins a trophy and/or other prizes. The decision to include a truck pull this year came last Friday, according to Marianna Main Street Director Charlotte Brunner. The teams won’t be pulling just any old fire truck -- this one has a special new purpose after being taken out of fire service.
Each team will pay a $50 entry fee. All the money raised will go to the newly formed local chapter of the Guardians of the Ribbon/Pink Heals, a cancer support organization. The group leases the fire truck for $1 a year from its founders and uses it as a showpiece to increase cancer awareness and in efforts to raise money to financially help women who have been diagnosed with cancer. The group does not take an administrative fee or financially benefit in any other way from such fundraisers, according to Lori Meadows, who organized the chapter with husband Phillip Meadows. The couple owns the truck, having purchased it from Chipola College after the aging unit was taken out of service. Mr. Meadows is retired Jackson County Fire Rescue firefighter/EMT and is an adjunct instructor at Chipola, teaching minimum fire standards at the school.