Thumb Tractor Pulling Association holds Award’s Banquet

Thumb Tractor Pulling Association holds Award’s Banquet
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The annual Thumb Tractor Pulling Association Inc. awards banquet was held Saturday night November 10, 2012 with over 155 members, spouses and special guests from around the state of Michigan.
The Thumb Tractor Pulling Association Inc. was incorporated in 1967, in response to several fairs in the Thumb of Michigan and fairs from around the state of Michigan, as to have a new tractor pulling association with a variety of several divisions of tractors. Many of those early fairs were actual owners of the Thumb Tractor Pulling Association Inc. and are still corporate advisers yet today, which include the Sanilac County Fair, Croswell Ag Society Fair, Carsonville Lions, Minden City Lions, Huron County Fair and the Port Hope.
The organization started out in its early years with strictly several farm tractors classes, which pitted several local farmers against another local farmer, manufacturer against manufacturer, and dealership against dealership.
However, the landscape quickly changed as spectators and fairs soon requested a diet of more noise, speed and power. Soon came the addition of modified tractors.  Modified tractors quickly became an overnight success with multiple high powered V8 and aircraft engines.
Shortly thereafter, several divisions of Street Legal 4X4 and modified 4X4 pickup divisions joined the mix of modified and high powered tractors.
Today, the Thumb Tractor Pulling Association Inc. has incorporated a wide array of high powered tractor and truck classes in their nightly shows. This includes one of the most popular classes in the Midwest, the 9300 Super Farm tractors better known as “Smokers”. This high powered class thrills thousands of spectators during the summer months of pulling at fairs around the state of Michigan.
At the conclusion of each pulling season, the organization holds its annual awards banquet. This year’s awards banquet was held in Bad Axe. The awards night started out with a happy hour followed by a great meal and then by the all exciting awards ceremony.
TTPA President Tony Hewitt and TTPA Board of Director Gary Heberling presented the honors for the 2012 season with over 50 awards. These awards included the top three contestants from each division, along with many special awards, and several sponsor awards.
Five of the recipients to receive divisional awards were Sanilac County residents. They were as follows: Ed Odoerfer of Snover, Mike and Kody Wisnewski of Marlette, Tony Hewitt of Carsonville, Zach Kramer of Palms, and Gary Heberling of Sandusky. Both Wisnewski and Heberling were 2011 defending champions in their respective divisions.
The most prestigious award to be handed out each year is the Thumb Tractor Pulling Association Inc Hall of Fame Award. For 2012, the inductee into the Thumb Tractor Pulling Association Inc. Hall of Fame was awarded to Oliver Wood of Marlette.
Oliver “Ollie” Wood was one of the early pioneers and past president of the TTPA for several years.  Ollie Wood was also the voice of the TTPA each summer at several fairs around the state of Michigan, including announcing all of the yearly truck and tractor pulls at the Pontiac Silverdome. Ollie’s resume also includes several years of service as a board member of the Sanilac County Fair and several years as president of the Sanilac County Farm Bureau. Ollie, his wife, Dorothy, and their son, Dale, own and operate a farming operation near Marlette MI.
Members and guests of the awards ceremony enjoyed an acceptance speech by Hall of Fame Inductee Oliver Wood. Ollie shared his many memorable experiences of his involvement with the organization and some of the historic beginnings of the club that many members of today had never heard before.

Tony Hewitt closed out the awards ceremony by commenting that the 2012 pulling season was one of the most memorable seasons in recent years due in part to the many great sponsors around the Thumb. Many of the sponsors are right here from Sanilac County.
He also stated that the TTPA was so fortunate to have very positive cooperation from all the fairs and fair board members and promoters from locally and around the state of Michigan
In closing, Tony thanked the TTPA Board of Directors for their hard work, support, and their insight to move the organization forward in these ever changing times.

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