Bulldogs have their day at Mack Trucks roundup

September 19, 2004|BY MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - After years of reading and hearing about the Bulldog Roundup at Mack Trucks in Hagerstown, Shawn Reilly of Boonsboro finally made it Saturday. And she brought "The Dude" with her.

"I love bulldogs, so I just had to come this year," Reilly said as she walked her bulldog puppy - The Dude - to the entrance of the plant for a full day of activities. The bulldog is the Mack Trucks mascot.

Windy and chilly through the morning, the rain held off as employees, families and others turned out for the event held every year since 1993 at the Pennsylvania Avenue complex.


Starting with a pancake breakfast, the day continued with pony rides, a carnival, dunking booths, a classic car and truck show, tours of the plant and a live bulldog contest, as well as food, food and more food.

In the first 10 years, the roundup has raised more than $100,000 for a variety of nonprofit groups in the area through food sales and other activities, according to a company press release.

One of the more popular fund-raising events each year is the Drive-A-Mack-Truck-For-A-Buck event, where anyone with a valid driver's license gets a chance to pilot one of the big rigs.

"I've been involved with this event all 10 years," said Larry Pepple, who has worked at the Mack plant for 42 years. In that time, the truck driving event has raised $8,117 for Marshall Street School.

Pepple said he had 28 people helping with the event this year - nine commercial drivers who ride with the "amateurs" and 18 volunteers to help people in and out of the rigs.

Two of those volunteers included Pam Cole, a teacher at Marshall Street School, and Teresa Martin, a computer operator who has contributed her time to the event each of the five years she has been with Mack.

One of those taking advantage of the unique opportunity to drive a big rig Saturday was Eldwin Martin, 17, of Maugansville.

"I'm a parts salesman at Central Trucks, but I've wanted to actually drive one for a long time," he said. "There's a feeling of a lot of power."

While too young to drive a truck yet, younger brother Larry Martin, 14, was happy to ride along in the passenger seat while Eldwin was at the wheel.

As much as Reilly was looking forward to the Bulldog Roundup Saturday, she hoped her brother was going to be even more dazzled.

"He's coming down from New Jersey for this," she said. "Not only does he love bulldogs, but he is also a trucker - how perfect."

A member of the Volvo Group, which is headquartered in Sweden, Mack Trucks is one of the largest producers of heavy duty trucks. In Hagerstown, Mack operations on Pennsylvania Avenue are in powertrain operations with a work force of 1,264, according to the 2004 Business and Industry directory for Washington County.

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