Score another win for the good guys! A local hardware store has donated thousands of dollars of equipment to Turlock High School's Ag Department, allowing classes to continue despite two major thefts.
Over Thanksgiving break thieves stole $5,000 worth of small engines and the community responded with $10,000 in donations.
But the Turlock High School Ag Department was shaken by a second major break-in over the Christmas break, when thieves stole $15,000 worth of equipment for a turf grass management class. The theft threatened to shut down the course.
This time Orchard Supply Hardware in Turlock stepped up to the plate with donations to help the turf grass management class get back underway within a week of the theft.
Orchard Supply Hardware donated two shaft trimmers, a gas hedge trimmer, a backpack blower, two handheld blowers (all Echo brand), 12 motor oils, a rake, a round shovel, a nose shovel, four classic weeders, two gas cans, two spools for the trimmer, a classic transplanter, five pairs of gloves and 10 five-gallon buckets. Turlock's Orchard Supply Hardware is also working with vendors and the corporate office to secure a commercial grade mower.
“It’s great to see them at least get back up and running again with these donations,” said Orchard Supply Hardware Regional Manager Geoff Ashcroft. “It’s important for OSH to be actively involved in the community. We have a role known as ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors.’ Especially in this case because some of these students could be future farmers. Farmers founded this company in 1931. We are glad to help, it’s who we are.”
THS Principal Marie Peterson was smitten to receive the donations.
“On behalf of Turlock High School and Turlock Unified School District I would like to thank the folks at Orchard Supply Hardware for their generous donation to replace equipment that was stolen from our Agriculture Department,” she wrote in a statement. “It means a lot to us that our community has once again stepped up to the plate to help our students out and that the Principles of Turf Grass Management class will continue to have opportunities for hands-on experience outside the classroom.”
In addition to the OSH donation, THS Ag Department Chair Chad Russell’s sister, Aimee Russell – who led the fundraising charge following the Thanksgiving break-in – says donations have been ramping up in the past several days.
“Yet again the community has stepped up and taken care of its people! Marie (Peterson) has been through the ringer the past few days and her hard work is paying off! We live in a great community!” said Aimee Russell.
Peterson, along with many students and teachers at THS, was emotionally hurt by the latest theft. Peterson worked fervently over the past year to get the turf grass management class started, and secured the funding and donations.