Minnesota Contractor Wins 2021 Trailer for a Cause Auction

The ninth annual online auction of an FT-3 drop deck utility trailer will benefit the Minnesota Fire Fighters Foundation

Minnesota Contractor Wins 2021 Trailer for a Cause Auction

Felling Trailers, Inc. conducted its ninth annual online auction of an FT-3 drop deck utility trailer to benefit the Minnesota Fire Fighters Foundation. A winning bid of $4,850.99 won the auction, which ended on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The bid winner was Joe Kostreba of Sauk Centre, Minnesota.

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," he says. "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 Ark fire (Noah's Ark Restaurant in Sauk Centre). 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."

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 Sept. 5 and was one of the first bidders to jump in on the bidding action. Over the next seven days, the bidding action continued with 21 bids placed throughout the auction. Kostreba and his daughter, Taylor, watched together as the minutes counted down to the end of the auction. 

"With approximately seven 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 five seconds left, we entered our bid, only to have the confirmation screen pop-up with about two 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.  

He 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,” says 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, offering everything from lighting to tires to 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, and 100% of the $4,850.99 will benefit the Minnesota Fire Fighters Foundation.


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