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Truck maker showcases heavy duty to community

September 17, 2006|by TARA REILLY

WASHINGTON COUNTY - When you hear of Volvo Powertrain, your first thoughts might be of strong, sturdy trucks.

There were plenty of those displayed Saturday at the 12th annual Bulldog/Viking Roundup, but the heavy truck and engine manufacturer also showed a side committed to community service.

Proceeds from the Volvo Powertrain North America event benefited San Mar Children's Home, Marshall Street School and the Lions Club.

"They're generous in the community with a lot of things," Jone Bowman, co-chair of a capital campaign for San Mar, said of Volvo Powertrain, formerly Mack Trucks. "Anything (San Mar) receives sounds good to me."

The event at Volvo Powertrain's plant north of Hagerstown also included a truck show, magicians, plant tours, free carnival rides and games for kids, a strongman demonstration, truck rides for $1, karaoke and a Lions Club food court.

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A bulldog rescue group was on hand to raise money for its organization.

The event's truck show, which typically has more than 100 trucks of all makes and models on display, included Mack/Volvo tractors, dump trucks, wreckers and firetrucks.

During the morning hours, spectators packed bleachers and stood around a stage for a beauty contest - beauties with four legs and a lot of drool.

Despite their short, stocky builds and wrinkly, saggy, pug faces, the English bulldog, a longtime mascot of Mack Trucks, had a lot of fans.

"Oh, they're just great dogs," Lainie Weber-Thomas said as she stood with her 5-year-old bulldog, Rosebud. "They are the best dogs to have."

Weber-Thomas described her dog as fun and goofy.

"They're silly as all get-out," she said.

Rosebud, who Weber-Thomas said came close to finishing second two years ago, was the sixth runner-up this year.

Top honors went to Hudson, a 19-month old dancing bulldog entered by his "aunt," Betsi Hayden of Bridgeport, W.Va.

Hayden was baby-sitting the dog, owned by Brian and Barb Kornbrath, also of Bridgeport.

"Dancing is one of his favorites ... and he has to have a partner," Hayden said.

Hudson displayed his dancing skill to the judges by standing on his back legs while giving one of his paws to Hayden.

Hayden then led the dog into a 360-degree twirl.

Ultimately, it was Hudson's good manners and resemblance to a Mack/Volvo truck that earned him first place, said Mary Reid, coordinator of the bulldog contest and a consultant with Volvo Powertrain.

The judging areas included exterior condition and appearance; "wheels and tires," which really means paws and stance; "safety features," such proper use of collars and leashes; clarity of eyes; whether the dog tugged excessively on the leash; "oil leaks," meaning drool; and noise, or excessive barking.

But winner or not, Reid said the show gave residents the opportunity to have fun with their dogs.

"I think it's more fun," Reid said. "It lets everyone bring their bulldogs out."

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