BTB 34: Think Pink
Published on: Monday 1st July 2013
Mike Nadeau, owner of White Oak Inc, based in St. Francis, Maine has a stable of Tigercat machines. Until recently they were all yellow. But these days operator, Dustin Marquis, is piloting a pink 822C feller buncher.
“I was listening to people talking about someone being diagnosed with cancer not long ago,” explains Marquis. “I went home and told my wife I could not imagine having to explain a cancer diagnosis to our kids.” After hearing about more and more people in the area dealing with cancer, he decided to do something about it. “I wanted to do something to give back to the area,” he said. “So I came up with an idea to raise funds based on the hours the feller buncher runs.”
Nadeau took Marquis’ initiative a step further, deciding to paint the machine pink. From there it took a mere two weeks to complete the project. “Dustin came up with the idea on a Friday afternoon and Mike [Nadeau] called me Saturday morning to see if we could make it happen,” recalls Keith Michaud, sales manager at Frank Martin Sons, the Tigercat dealer located in Fort Kent, Maine. “By Monday it was a go.”
Sponsors and volunteers came out of the woodwork, all wanting to be a part of the project and the newly created fund-raising organization, Loggers for Cancer. “It’s really amazing how many people got involved with this,” Marquis comments.
Down the road from Frank Martin Sons, the crew at commercial truck dealership Daigle & Houghton Inc. sandblasted the feller buncher down to bare metal, while Louis Roy at Roy Auto Parts secured and donated the ‘Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Pink’ paint. The actual paint job was done in St. Francis at Nadeau’s White Oak garage.
Michaud says, “The crew of White Oak Inc. did an incredible job getting this project done as quickly and as professionally as it was.”
Michaud next contacted Tigercat to make the fundraising pitch. “In my mind I would have been happy with $2,000,” explains Michaud. “Ken, the owner of Tigercat, pledged two dollars an hour. The amount they are committing is up to $100,000. That is mind boggling.”
Other hourly sponsors include Frank Martin Sons Inc., Daigle Oil, Seven Island Land Co., Orion Timberlands, Maine Woods Co., Portage Wood Products and Moosewood Millworks. “We are blessed to be associated with everyone who made this come together,” says Michaud.
Given its current age, the buncher should easily last another 30,000 hours. On a yearly basis, the hours will be tallied and each contributor will write a check, with half the proceeds going to the Edgar J. Paradis Cancer Fund and the remaining half to the Maine Cancer Foundation, Women’s Cancer Fund, on behalf of Loggers for Cancer. White Oak Inc. and Marquis must keep the feller buncher painted pink and working in Maine.
“I never thought I’d see this, but I would drive this feller buncher any day,” says Charlie Nadeau, the 18-year-old son of Mike Nadeau. “I am really proud of my dad and of White Oak. Something like this has never been done before.” The machine also appeared at the Northeastern Forest Products Equipment Expo in Bangor in May, where spectators were encouraged to jump on the Loggers for Cancer fundraising bandwagon.
A donation or sponsorship can be made by calling Kayla Daigle, Frank Martin Sons at 800-822-6661.