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Firefighters, residents to compete in ‘Pullin’ for Partnership – Fire Truck Challenge’

MADISON – Madison Fire and Rescue Department is working with Partnership for a Drug-Free Community for one of the area’s most unusual fundraisers, in which teams of residents can show their level of physical strength.

In the “Pullin’ for Partnership – Fire Truck Challenge,” 10-member teams will pull a 46,000-pound fire truck with a rope for a distance of 50 feet.

The event on Oct. 26 will run from 3 to 6 p.m. in Madison City Schools Stadium’s parking lot at 211 Celtic Drive.

During planning, Partnership consulted with other nonprofits who have conducted similar fundraisers in other cities and states.

“Participants will create fun memories while they help Partnership provide its much-needed youth drug education programs,” Partnership Executive Director Wendy Reeves said. “The challenge also will benefit the Recovery Resource Hub program that helps people find needed treatment services who are living with addiction.”

“As a nonprofit, Partnership depends on community support, donations and grant funding. Throughout its 33 years, Partnership provides all services for free, including Recovery Resource Hub’s assessments, required to help get people into state-funded treatment programs,” Reeves said.

Team registration fee is $250; corporate sponsorships are available. Donations to Partnership, a 501(c)3 agency, are tax-deductible. All event proceeds will go directly to Partnership for a Drug-Free Community’s programs.

Reeves said team pledges, sponsorships and donations are more important than ever. Demand for Partnership programs rates at an all-time high. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the ongoing opioid and youth vaping epidemics.

Partnership provides prevention and education for youth with the Ozzie Opioid Prevention Programs and Youth Tobacco & Vaping Prevention Program. The agency also provides recovery resources to anyone with a substance use disorder, family and relatives.

“Our paramedics have responded to more overdose calls this year than any other time I can recall,” Don Webster said. Webster is a HEMSI spokesman, Partnership board member and truck-pull committee chair. “This community needs Partnership’s programs to reach our young people and make sure they have information to make educated choices when faced with drugs or alcohol.”

“What the Recovery Resource Hub does is extremely important. We see the devastation caused by overdoses almost daily, and we refer patients there,” Webster said.

Brandy Williams, Madison Deputy Fire Chief, said the department is participating in “Pullin’ for Partnership” because they too see firsthand the opioid crisis’ impact. “Most people are very aware that we have a serious opioid crisis. Anything we can do to bring awareness to programs that help address it, from trying to prevent it to helping those who have an addiction, is a positive for our community.”

Trophies will be presented for fastest/slowest pulls, team spirit and top fundraising.

For rules and registration forms, text CHALLENGE to 91999 or visit partnershipforadrug-freecommunity.org. Registration deadline is Oct. 15.

To download team kits, call 256-539-7339, email info@thedrugfreepartnership.org or visit partnershipforadrug-freecommunity.org.

The event will be livestreamed on Facebook. “Partnership appreciates support of Madison Fire and Rescue, City of Madison and Madison City Schools for the event. Sponsors to-date include ADTRAN, Jerry Damson Automotive Group, Colsa Corporation, Huntsville Housing Authority and Woody Anderson Ford,” Reeves said.

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