Mon September 27, 2021
Felling Trailers Inc. conducted its ninth annual online auction of an FT-3 drop deck utility trailer to benefit a non-profit organization: the Minnesota Fire Fighters Foundation (MNFFF). A winning bid of $4850.99 won the auction that ended at 7 pm on the 20th-anniversary remembrance of 9/11, Saturday, Sept. 11th, 2021. The bid winner was Joe Kostreba of Sauk Centre, Minn.
Kostreba, a local contractor, has participated in previous Trailer for a Cause auctions but never pushed for the winning bid.
"This year it just made a little more sense for a few reasons. One reason was for business needs. I needed to replace my aging current FT-3 [2000 model year].
"The second was for personal reasons. When I was about five years old, my neighbor Dave Kane, a volunteer firefighter, was killed in the Arc fire [Noah's Arc Restaurant in Sauk Centre, now Diamond Point]. I was young, but I still remember the day like it was yesterday, as the procession of cars showed up at the neighbor's home to notify the family of the tragic accident of Kane and Zabel," said Kostreba.
David Kane and Doug Zabel, both volunteer firefighters for the Sauk Centre Fire Department, passed away when the structure they were standing on collapsed under the heat and stress of a raging fire, Jan. 7, 1985.
"The Minnesota firefighters risk their lives every day to try and help everyone they can save, whether it's fires or accidents they are called to. My wife [Blaine] was an EMT in Sauk for many years and worked alongside many firefighters."
Kostreba watched as the auction started on the 5th of September and was one of the first bidders to jump in on the bidding action. Over the next 7-days, the bidding action continued with 21 bids placed throughout the auction. Joe and his daughter Taylor watched together as the minutes counted down to the end of the auction.
"With approximately 7 minutes left in the auction, we watched the bid price not moving. We decided with a few seconds left to see if we could win the auction. With 5 seconds left, we entered our bid, only to have the confirmation screen pop-up with about 2 seconds left, prompting us to hit enter again. We were both very surprised that we won and congratulated each other with a high -five," said Kostreba.
Kostreba will be putting the FT-3 trailer to use hauling materials and equipment to and from job sites when needed. About three years ago, he bought the family business, Kostreba Contracting, from his family due to his father becoming ill and not being able to continue operating the business.
"I had worked alongside my dad building the business since I was 14-years old. Twenty-seven years later, I'm still doing the same thing I grew up doing, helping families in Sauk Centre and the surrounding communities building new homes, remodeling projects, and anything they may need to be done. The trailer is going to be very well taken care of, almost too nice to use," said Kostreba.
"The city of Sauk Centre has been a very great place to work and raise our family and operate our family-owned business with my wife Blaine and daughter Taylor."
The 2021 Trailer for a Cause FT-3 utility trailer was painted the signature fire engine red with custom fire engine gold pinstriping and bared the Minnesota Fire Fighters Foundation emblem. Several Felling Trailers' suppliers joined to support the MNFFF through sponsorship of the trailer build, from lighting to tires and paint.
The 2021 Trailer for a Cause sponsors were Trans-Texas, PPG, Dexter, Sealco, Peterson, Industrial Wood, Demco, Pacific Rim and Metal Crafters/Flexco. Felling Trailers wanted to generate awareness about the hidden health dangers and cancer risks firefighters face while serving and beyond. The auction ran for seven days, from Sept. 5 through Sept. 11, ending with Kostreba's winning bid of $4,850.99. One hundred percent of the $4,850.99 will benefit the Minnesota Fire Fighters Foundation.
About Kostreba Contracting
Kostreba Contracting is a family-owned construction business located in Sauk Centre, Minn., specializing in new homes, remodeling, and light commercial construction. The company was founded in 1985 by Wayne Kostreba and operated as Restorations by Wayne.
In 1997 the father and son team became known as Kostreba Contracting.
For more information, call 320/352-3045.
About the Minnesota Firefighters Foundation
After receiving training on the Health Risk to Firefighters in 2016, a small group of individuals felt compelled to do more for their brothers and sisters in the fire service. The founding five members piled into a small room and knew at that time there needed to be more focus on the hidden health and cancer risk firefighters faced.
In early 2017 The Minnesota Firefighters Foundation was formed, and its mission is simple: supporting firefighters and their families that have been affected by cancer and other health issues due to their involvement in the fire service.
MNFFF's primary campaign is HOODS 4 HEROES, which educates firefighters on how to protect themselves, along with giving them the tools and equipment to help mitigate the risk of cancer and other hidden health risks. The HOODS 4 HEROES campaign mission is to purchase particulate hoods for fire departments across Minnesota that cannot afford them.
For more information on MNFFs research, education and services, visit www.mnfff.org.
About Felling Trailers Inc.
Felling Trailers is a family-owned and operated full line trailer manufacturer located in central Minnesota.
Felling's pride and differentiation is its customized trailer division. Its engineers utilize the latest Industry-leading design techniques and its experienced metal craftspeople use cutting-edge technology to turn its customers' conceptual trailer needs into a tangible product.
For more information, call 800/245-2809 or visit www.felling.com.