"It is people like you that make this community such a great place to live."
These are the words a mother from Danville, Ky., wrote to her local Caterpillar facility, thanking employees for their support in a recent community event that drew more than 1,000 people.
Undercarriage employees from the facility recently teamed up with Wilderness Trace Child Development Center (WTCDC) to plan and host a local fundraiser called Big Toy Day. It was a way to engage the community while celebrating the facility's 15-year anniversary.
"We were looking for opportunities to reach out into the community," said Danville Human Resources Supervisor Wendy Plyman. "Wilderness Trace Child Development Center approached Caterpillar at about the same time and outlined their idea to have real-life, big 'toys' available for all kids—big and small—to see close up."
So, thanks to several vendors, donors like Caterpillar and more than 20 volunteers from the Danville facility, Kentucky kids of all ages had their chance to see and experience all kinds of "big toys" on September 21. Cat® dealer Whayne Supply and Caterpillar customers Caldwell Stone Company and Allen Company brought in 11 pieces of Cat equipment for the event including: various track-type tractors, hydraulic excavators, large off-highway dump trucks, soil compactors, scrapers and a large wheel loader. Big Toy Day also featured state and local fire and police equipment along with everything from food and a magician to a petting zoo and putt-putt golf.
The more than $13,000 in proceeds raised during the event will help fund the therapies and teaching at WTCDC, a nonprofit center that serves many children, including those with special needs, in the Danville community.
It's a fundraiser that left lasting memories for some WTCDC parents.
"[My son] had such an amazing time with the big toys, and it was fun to watch him," the mother said in a letter to Danville facility employees. "Thanks so much for teaming up with his school, WTCDC, because it is making a difference in his life."