A local business donated more than $10,000 to support families of tow truck operators who are killed in the line of duty.
Miller Industries Towing Equipment Inc. donated the proceeds to the Wall of the Fallen Survivor Fund, which helps to support the families of towers who are killed in the line of duty.
The International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum established the wall in 2006, and Miller Industries helps fund the Wall of the Fallen, which honors new people every year.
The most recent donation comes at the close of the 2017 WeTow campaign hosted by Miller Industries.
“Everyone here at Miller industries really was glad to be able to do this,” Miller Industries Marketing Manager Joseph Keene said. “Not only to help create awareness in the communities of these wonderful organizations but also the efforts that towers do.”
In addition to supporting the survivor fund, the campaign also supported many charities across the nation.
Through the sale of custom bracelets, Miller Industries promoted awareness for Susan G. Komen, Disabled American Veterans, The Miracle League, Shiners Children’s Hospital and the International Towing Recovery Museum and Hall of Fame.
There were bracelets sold to represent each organization.
“The bracelets are custom made from a paracord material and on the end has a branded Miller Tow hook to secure the bracelet to your wrist, but also to represent the tow hook on the end of a wrecker,” Keene said.
The funds from the sale of the bracelets were distributed evenly to each organization, he said.
The money raised for the sale of the bracelets made it possible for the donation.
Bracelets are still sold at participating Miller Industries distributors, but the sale of any further bracelets will not go to the organizations.
“When you’re stranded if your car breaks down [towers are] going to come and help you and they’re going to put themselves in harms way,” Keene said. “Unfortunately, when people aren’t paying attention, there are fatalities. It’s a great cause to be able to really help when help is needed most to those families.”
Chattanooga is the birthplace of the U.S. towing industry.
In 1995, the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum opened in downtown Chattanooga.
The museum moved to a larger facility on Broad Street in 2003 and is still located there.
Savannah Bennett is a contributing writer. She currently attends UTC where she is a feature writer of the student newspaper, The University Echo. She is a double major in communications and English: creative writing. Savannah was also a participant in the Disney College Program during the fall of 2017.