WESLACO — U.S. Border Patrol agent John Horner and nine of his coworkers spent their Saturday morning pulling a 55,000-pound blue Weslaco Fire Department engine truck to raise money for Special Olympics.
The agents were one of five teams who raised $6,000 for the Special Olympics, a nonprofit organization that supports people with intellectual disabilities through olympic-type sports.
“That truck was heavy this year,” Horner said lightheartedly. “That truck was the heaviest one we’ve ever pulled.”
The teams paid at least $300 each to enter the fire truck pull contest, which was held in Weslaco for the first time with help from the city, school district and H-E-B.
Horner and his team won first place by pulling the fire truck 75-feet twice under 16 seconds — the quickest out of all the groups.
“I think we’ve all been pretty blessed with our own health, good jobs, good families and to help out children in need, Special Olympics is a good program,” Horner said. “Anything I can do to give back, I try to.”
A veterans organization, psychology club and other teams also participated in the fire truck pull.
Each team was required to have one woman and 10 participants total who pulled the truck by rope.
In addition to fundraisers, Special Olympics holds 15 sporting events each year from basketball to bowling with the next big one being track and field on April 27 and 28 at Bobby Lackey Stadium in Weslaco.
“We have events throughout the year from Roma to Brownsville,” said area director Laudo Garza with the Special Olympics organization.
The organization is currently seeking volunteers and sponsors for its next Special Olympics event.
After pulling the fire truck in the parking lot of Bobby Lackey Stadium, the teams sat with one another to cool down while they ate hamburgers provided by H-E-B.
The agents were then handed gold medals for their first place win.
“Since we’ve been winning every year, we want to keep it rolling,” Horner said before taking a bite of his burger.
Area law enforcement in May will be participating in the torch run from McAllen to Weslaco to raise more money for Special Olympics.