GREENVILLE – The Darke County Tractor Pullers Association held its 2013 season appreciation banquet with most of the 240 registered guests and members braving the elements to attend.
“The banquet is to recognize our class winners for the 2013 season, our sponsors and some special awards that we give out every year,” DCTPA President Joe Singer said.
The banquet opened with a moment of silence as the association dedicated the evening to the memory of DCTPA hall of fame member Dave Blocher.
Long time tractor pulling event announcer Duane Edwards handled the duties of banquet emcee while DCTPA president Joe Singer handed out the association’s charitable donations and 2013 pulling awards.
“We have an awfully nice club here. I am very proud of it,” Singer said. “The banquet is a pretty big deal for something local like this.”
As part of its community service the DCTPA presented checks to many deserving charitable organizations in the communities where group has pulls including the Darke County Cancer Association, Palestine Community Park, Greenville Township Fire and Rescue, Red Key Volunteer Fire Department, Farm Safety Just For Kids and many more.
“We put on pulling events, and it’s from those we give to deserving organizations,” Singer said. “We try to put something back into the community.”
“That’s what the club or any service organization is supposed to do,” DCTPA Treasurer and original member Tony Schlechty said. “That is why we do all this, so we can help benefit the community. It’s a two-way street. I hope everyone enjoys the pulls and we can turn around and help the community out of that.”
DCTPA jackets were presented to each class winner for the 2013 DCTPA final points leaders with the second place finisher receiving a DCTPA hat.
Christa Bingham was honored as the 2013 DCTPA Most Valuable Member.
Singer introduced a surprised Tony Schlechty as the third inductee into the Darke County Tractor Pullers Hall of Fame joining Duane Edwards and the late Dave Blocher in the elite hall.
“It was a total surprise,” Schlechty said. “I was one of the original members.”
Schlechty is from a tractor pulling family that includes sons Kyle, Craig “Biggin,” Kurt and five grandchildren.
“All three boys are in it,” Schlechty said. “My grandsons are starting to get involved in it, too.
“We have done a lot of work but it wasn’t just me,” Schlechty added. “It was a lot of people involved. It was a group effort.”
“The club’s first 2014 event is the second weekend of March in Eaton with an indoor antique pull then a June event in Red Key, Ind.,” Singer said. “Two days at the Farm Power of The Past and an event at Union City Heritage Days.”
“Our signature event is two days at the Great Darke County Fair,” Singer said. “Our event during the fair is National Tractor Pullers Association sanctioned. It’s one of their premier events of the Grand National.”
“I’m awfully proud of our Darke County Fair Grounds,” Singer said. “Our fair grounds are a gem.”
“We also have a pull at the Miami County Fair in Troy. We will pull at Dayton during their fair right before Labor Day,” Singer said. “We have an event Labor Day at Palestine, Ohio, then we will have three days of pulling at the Lynn Lions Club Fair in Lynn, Ind., the weekend after Labor Day.”
Singer added, “You do not need a tractor to be a member. A lot of people like help or see the sport go on.”
For information go the DCTPA website www.dctpa.com or call Joe Singer at 937-459-0376.