GREENVILLE—The Darke County Tractor Pullers Association (DCTPA) held its 2022 banquet at Romer’s in Greenville on Saturday evening.
Highlight of the evening was the tribute that was paid to Duane “Lum” Edwards, who died five days prior to the banquet of which he was usually the emcee.
Owner and operator of Black Sheep Announcing, Edwards was known throughout Ohio and Indiana for his distinct voice as he spent more than 34 years announcing for the National Tractor Pullers Association, Darke County Tractor Pullers Association, and the Hoosier State Tractor Pullers Association.
He was a past president and founding member of the DCTPA; was inducted into the DCTPA Hall of Fame, a title for which he was immensely proud of in 2013; and was a member of not only the NTPA, DCTPA, and HSTPA, but also the National Hot Rod Association.
“This has been a tough week losing Lum,” said Vice President Kyle Schlechty. “He was more than a friend and family member, he advocated for the sport and its members as well. His love for the sport was always in his voice. He didn’t know just the pullers, but also their parents, their children and their neighbors.”
Photos of Edwards were presented in slide-show form at the banquet, thanks to the many people who loaned them to the DCTPA for the tribute.
Among those in attendance at the banquet were Edwards’ daughter Dawn (Mrs. David) Duff of Covington, Ohio; grandsons, Jacob and Lucas Campbell, both of Michigan; and Lum’s girlfriend, Vickie Gossard of Celina.
Dawn asked to speak at the conclusion of the tribute and had that opportunity: “I want to thank everybody for being there for my dad. It will be a rough journey for us. He loved you all. After every pull I would hear stories. Some of the happiest times were being there spending time with dad. My goal is to get to as many tractor pulls as possible and enjoy it as much as he did.”
Craig “Biggin” Schlechty read a special tribute on behalf of the DCTPA.
- Tractor pull winners for the year were honored.
- 9000-pound Farm Stocks, sponsored by Kennfeld Group: Jack Bingham, first place, Scott Patterson, second place, and Roy Rosenberger, third place.
- 5800-pound Hot Rod, sponsored by Ohio Crankshafts: Bob Zaenkert, first, Ben Holthaus, second and Barney Taylor, third.
- 6200-pound Altered Gas Trucks, sponsored by Nyes Automotive, Kris Walker Mary Kay, Travs 4×4 and the Hulk Pulling Team: Taylor McCreery, first place, Travis Centers, second place, and Miles Rosenberger, third.
- 9500-pound Hot Farms, sponsored by Precision Ag Services, Oversholer Cabinets, R&K Clark Farms LLC, Fullenkamp’s Frenchtown Trailer in memory of Karen and Frank Fullenkamp: Chris Regedanz, first, Russ Clark, second, and Mitch Regendanz, third.
- Natural Aspirated Super Stocks, sponsored by Koenig Equipment: Bob Rhoades, first, Bill Downing, second, and Kent Butler, third.
- 2.6 Diesel Trucks, sponsored by Rowland Truck and Equipment: Drew Krogman first, Derek Martin, second, and Nick Zaenkert, third.
The top points winners were: Jack Bingham, Taylor McCreery, Bob Zaenkert, Chris Regedanz, Bob Rhoades and Drew Krogram.
They also named the Most Valuable Member for the year and it went to Wayne Schroeder.
Another feature of the banquet was the presentation of donations to various organizations, including the Cancer Association of Darke County, Palestine Community Park, Greenville Township Fire and Rescue, Greenville Moose and the Redkey, Ind., Volunteer Fire Department.
Both winners of the 50/50s donated their winnings back to the Cancer Association of Darke County.
Joe Singer has been president of the DCTPA since 1988 and presented some historical information on the club at the banquet.
The DCTPA was formed in 1980 and merged with the Tri-County Tractor Pullers in 1982.
The association’s first pull event was the Darke County Fair which hosted 30 pullers but had no crowd. Now, they feature 14 events across Ohio and Indiana.
“After our first pull, we put on one in September and it was a financial flop but we survived. The fair board helped us. From day one, we’ve had a lot of good people in this club.”
He went on to say that at one point the bank contacted him to let him know they were overdrawn. After he contacted people and went to the bank, sponsors came up and got them back on their feet.
“We went to a club meeting that night and people were ready to help financially,” Joe said. “We get good reports on our quality events and I can’t thank everybody enough.”
Singer went on, “When we started the club, the Schlechty boys run the graders. We’ve got a good bunch of young people interested now. We have second and third generations helping and hope it keeps going.”
At one point in time, the “next generation,” was introduced. They were comprised of the Schlechty grandchildren and their friends, all of whom attend the pulls and help out.
“It takes a whole club to make a great organization to pull off a caliber event,” said Kyle Schlechty. “We were able to book three more events this year. We thank the pullers for their dedication to the organization, the sponsors and fairboard.”
More on Edwards’ DCTPA tribute will be featured on My County Link later this week, in addition to others who paid homage to this special man.