GREENWICH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s not quite time yet for the Washington County Fair to return to its home fairground near Schuylerville. Even so, there’s often something occupying the fairground, whether it’s an off-season animal event or a weekly food truck corral.
At the end of July, the thing making noise at Greenwich’s local festival grounds will be built around engines, tires, heavy weights, and a good cause. The first annual Washington County Pull for Kids hits the grounds on Sunday, July 31.
“We can’t wait,” said event organizer Rich Horton. “Several of us have always talked about having an event like this at our fairgrounds.”
The pull is a fundraiser, benefitting the Make-a-Wish Foundation as well as the Ronald McDonald House. Those funds come from $20 pull entry and $15 gate admission, to either see or take part in a list of different pull types from noon to 6 p.m. The pull is divided into eight vehicle classes, including:
- Super Stock
- Super Farm
- Hot Farm
- Super Stock 4×4
The pull’s first year has come together fast – so fast, in fact, that it isn’t yet registered as a nonprofit. It costs a lot to get an event like this moving – around $20K, to be exact. The goal is to clear that amount and raise at least $2-3K each for both Ronald McDonald House and Make-a-Wish. That money will officially be donated through Horton’s Argyle-based LLC farm.
“I wouldn’t sign my name to this if it wouldn’t pay for itself,” said Horton. “If we can get 1,500 or 2,000 people, we’ve done excellent.”
And true to the event’s name, all the money raised will go to help kids living with cancer and other debilitating illnesses. The Make-a-Wish Foundation uses funds to provide kids suffering critical illnesses with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to do things they otherwise might never do. Ronald McDonald House provides a variety of services to kids and their families. Last year, the organization opened Krantz Cottage in Lake George, a vacation home for families with children suffering from severe illnesses.
“Some people helping with the pull are very tied in with Make-a-Wish, and myself with the Ronald McDonald House. For a long time, I never knew what it was, but it’s pretty amazing,” said Horton.
It’s been harder to find the time since having kids about a decade ago, but Horton himself has done tractor pulls for a large portion of his life. His father has been in the sport for more than 50 years. The family visits a benefit tractor pull in Vermont every September, and has come home as victors three years in a row.
As for what makes the sport great? The answer is pretty simple.
“It’s a grassroots sport, with country, grassroots people. I’ve got friends all over the country,” Horton said.
Entry to join the pull is $20 at the door on Sunday, July 31. General admission is $15 at the gate.