‘Pull for the Cure’ fundraiser for Relay for Life

Davin Eldridge – Contributing Writer

Residents from around Macon County gathered by the hundreds on Saturday for this year’s Pulling for a Cure fundraising event Saturday, May 19, in the Franklin Plaza.

With cancer rates above the state average in Macon County, the fatal disease has long been something locals have fought against, according to event organizer and announcer Tony Curtis.

“We’ve been holding this event for a long time now here in Franklin,” said Curtis. “‘Pulling for a Cure’ is more than just a slogan for today.”

Entrants of the event faced no small task – pulling a 40,000 pound fire truck tethered with a rope some 12 feet across a parking lot. Each team of six members paid $150 for the privilege of pulling the truck, with a total of nine teams entered this year. The team to pull the truck the fastest would be given the event’s commemorative fireman’s axe. The winning team was Franklin Health and Fitness, who were neck-and-neck with Pine Grove, at 16 seconds.

Team Placements: Macon County Sheriff’s Office -33 seconds; Elite Trucking- 17 seconds; Franklin Fire & Rescue- 22 seconds; Franklin High School – 28 seconds; Mountain Valley Fire Dept. – 22 seconds; Burningtown Volunteer Fire Dept. – 22 seconds; Pine Grove – 16 seconds.28; Franklin Health & Fitness- 16.19 seconds; Cullasaja Fire & Rescue – 23 seconds

According to Franklin Fitness personal trainer  Matt Harlfinger, the event was well worth it.

“It was fun, it was for a good cause and I really liked the results,” he said, adding that he plans to return next year to defend his team’s title.  

“It was definitely hard work , but I’m really happy to help raise funds for cancer research,” said an out-of-breath Jeffrey Epps , who trains with Harlfinger. 

Franklin’s 2018 Relay for Life is slated for Friday, June 1, at 6 p.m., on the square in downtown Franklin.