BREAST CANCER FUNDRAISER RAISES $100,000 IN SUPPORT OF THE BCRF®
Performance Diesel Inc. (PDI), sponsors across the U.S., and ticket purchasers raised $100,000 in support of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF®) and helped raise support for breast cancer awareness through the fundraiser drawing for a pink rebuilt 2001 Peterbilt 379. Fundraiser ticket purchaser, Art Pflughoeft of Glen Flora, Wis., was the lucky winner of the pink truck when his name was drawn and called on March 23, at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Ky. PDI Founder and Owner, Jerad Wittwer, BCRF Director of Development and Special Events, Lucretia Gilbert, and Kentucky Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes, were present for the presentation of sponsors and to complete the drawing.
The pink truck fundraiser benefited the BCRF, founded in 1993, as an independent, not-for-profit organization with a mission to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime by providing critical funding for research and increasing public awareness about good breast health. “When Evelyn Lauder started BCRF in 1993, she hoped that she could make a difference and save lives using research,” said Gilbert. “Your remarkable gift of $100,000 will go directly towards the best and brightest minds conducting groundbreaking research. Everyone can feel good knowing that 91% of your support to BCRF goes directly to lifesaving cancer research.”
“The PDI pink truck stood out among the crowd,” said Gilbert. “Jerad Wittwer acknowledged all the sponsors who donated parts making the pink truck a reality and thanked the PDI family. This was definitely a team effort and took a village to coordinate all the donations for the restoration of the truck, and also to coordinate selling raffle tickets across the country for many months. What your group has done as a collective is a perfect example of how when we work together we will find a cure and prevention for this disease,” said Gilbert.
Forty-four year old long-haul, owner-operator, Pflughoeft was not present during the pink truck drawing. “When Jerad called me about winning the truck, I jumped in the car, with my dad, and drove 700 miles to Louisville to get the truck,” said Pflughoeft. “I was afraid he’d [Wittwer] change his mind about giving me the truck.” Pflughoeft had been following PDI and the breast cancer awareness fundraiser for the pink truck on the web and Facebook®, before he traveled to visit his sister in southern California at the beginning January 2012. He stopped at PDI, for the first time, and bought 16 tickets for $100 while on his trip. “I didn’t think there was a snowballs chance in hell I’d win,” said Pflughoeft. “I was just donating to the cause, because it means so much to me”.
Pflughoeft and Wittwer discovered they had a connection in the cause. “This cause is important to me because my grandma is a breast cancer survivor,” said Wittwer. “My grandmother was initially diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Pflughoeft. “Her cancer later metastasized to her brain. She passed away June 27, 2009. She was a wonderful woman and a pleasure to be around. I’ve named the truck Lucille in her honor.
The truck has made a difference to Pflughoeft. Before he received the call about winning the breast cancer awareness truck, he was driving a 1999 Kenworth W900 with 1.6 million miles. Pflughoeft, an owner-owner since 1996, hauls from Wisconsin west to Colorado and everywhere east of Kansas. An average week consists of 3,000 miles on the road. “This truck means the world to me,” Pflughoeft said. “I get to enjoy life now.” He joked, “It means I can drive by my mechanics house and wave instead of stopping by and giving him money.” Pflughoeft had wanted to improve his Kenworth with PDI products for years, but hadn’t had the chance. He couldn’t believe he won a truck decked out in PDI products, painted a color that he respects. “Everyone keeps asking me if I’m going to change the color, and I tell them hell no.” Pflughoeft said.
“It’s a beautiful truck,” Pflughoeft said. A Cummins Signature ISX engine with a PDI Stage 1 turbo kit and ECM tune, an 18-speed transmission, and a high-performance Setco LIPE clutch powers the pink truck with a stand-up sleeper and black fenders. The truck also features a custom drop visor and air-ride from Twelve Gauge Customs, Lincoln Chrome exhaust, a high performance radiator by Dura-Lite, a custom hood and front fenders from Jones Performance, and custom paint by PPG. In addition to painted tanks and air cleaners, the exterior also features plenty of “old school” pinstriping. Also, Bridgestone fit the truck with new tires, Valley Chrome provided the front bumper, and Bad Ass Custom Truck Parts donated the fiberglass rear fenders. The interior features a painted floor and painted dash panels by 4 State Trucks, a custom-painted white and pink steering wheel, and black leather seats provided by National Seating.
Various members of the trucking industry came together and covered all costs associated with rebuilding the pink truck. Sponsors included: PDI, Jones Performance, Bridgestone, Twelve Gauge Customs, ASET, PPG Paint, IDEAL Distributors, Lincoln Chrome, 4 State Trucks, Valley Chrome Plating, NOVUS Glass, Bloomer Trailers, Setco LIPE Clutch, Bad Ass Custom Truck Parts, Best Deal Spring Inc., Dura-Lite Radiators, National Seating, Lifetime Nut Covers, FASS, Kenworth of St. George, Parts Plus, Stars & Stripes Show Truck Events, PKY Truck Beauty Championship, and Rainbow Sign & Banner. “It was a truly phenomenal fundraiser,” said Wittwer. “We were happy to do our part and we can’t thank the sponsors, ticket purchasers, or BCRF enough for helping with this fundraiser.”