A J. L. Crowe Secondary teacher has been blown away by the response from the Greater Trail community and beyond.
In a Trail Times Dec. 11 article, Metalworks teacher Dale Smyth asked Trail residents to help out students by donating their used or broken down lawnmowers, rototillers and snowblowers to his shop class.
Turns out, there were a lot of broken-down engines out there.
“I was extremely happy with the response from the public,” said Smyth. “I had just over 30 inquiries/donations and counting, and I just got a snowblower donation yesterday.”
Smyth saw donations flow in from Fruitvale to Castlegar, but he was more than a little impressed when he received a generous donation of a newer snowthrower from Nelson.
It’s one of the more pleasing and satisfying aspects of collecting the mechanical donations, says Smyth, meeting the generous residents who drop them off.
“Each item came with its own little story which was really neat to hear,” he explained. “How it ran perfect until one day it made that funny sound and bang, boom in the middle of the lawn it was done. Or how this was the generator hiked way into the backcountry to the ski or snowmobile cabins generations of outdoor enthusiasts have used.”
The small engines are a hands-on learning tool that help his students learn how to tune, troubleshoot, and maintain a selection of motors.
The donated engines are not only much-needed educational tools, but they also help when it comes to the school’s budget and keeping costs down for parents and ultimately tax payers.
Smyth was impressed with the number of donations, not to mention the sheer variety of machines that included snow blowers, lawnmowers, weed-eaters, generators and riding lawnmowers to the point of overflowing.
“We came to a point where I had to defer some donations until spring due to space restrictions,” added Smyth.
“J. L. Crowe’s Shop class wants to thank all those who donated small engines. The overwhelming response was much appreciated.”