Monkton tractor pull raises funds to help fight ALS

Paul Gaboriault of Bridport pulls 253.3 feet for the Pinch’n Pennies Team in the Super Stock Class.

Paul Gaboriault of Bridport pulls 253.3 feet for the Pinch’n Pennies Team in the Super Stock Class. Eagle photo

— Since tractor pulling is a lot more exciting than watching corn grow, it might explain its rising popularity among rural folks. Pull events are a great place for friendly competition, socializing, and lots of bragging rights.

The Vermont Tractor Pullers Association—based in Middlebury with organization President Michael Bowdish, Vice President Paul Gaboriault, Secretary Lisa Bowdish, and Secretary Lisa Gaboriault, and Board of Directors Brian Barrows, Steve Torrey, Dan Barrows and Scott Hawkins—meets twice a year at the Steady family’s farm in Monkton for fun and a nice way to remember the late Randy Steady who passed away from ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2006.

While Steady never wanted a memorial pull to be established in his name, according to Robin Steady, the event is both a tip of the hat to his memory and a way to generate funds for fighting ALS.

Annually, funds—as much as $1,500 per event—are donated to the Fletcher Allen ALS Center and Jim’s House in Williston which helps fund patients room and board.

“I could not do this without help from family and friends,” Robin Steady told the Eagle. Steady said the Association holds an ALS Walk in September and an ALS Silent Auction in August.

Last week’s pull event at the Steady farm included all classes of so-called garden tractors: Youth Garden Stock, Adult Single Cylinder Garden Stock, Adult Multi Cylinder, Sport Stock, Super Stock and Pro-Stock Diesel.

“We don’t want the kids to feel left out, so we have a youth division for stock garden tractors,” Steady said. “This way, they can enjoy the thrill of the pull. This is truly a family event.”

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