Approximately 2,000 adults and 1,300 kids, ages 3 to 15, attended the first annual “Meet the Machines” event co-sponsored by The Budrovich Companies and Fabick CAT.
The event was held at Budrovich’s headquarters, which is on the site of an old quarry, in south St. Louis County on April 16.
Every child received a hard hat and work-order ticket upon entry to the event. The work-order ticket served as part of a scavenger hunt where the children earned stamps after visiting the different event stations. Upon completion of the work-order ticket, children received a goodie bag.
The stations included, “How’d They do That?” –– where the young constructors learned the basics of excavation and grading. Children 3 to 5 years old had a chance to “Dig for Gold” in a giant sandbox.
At the “Future Constructors” station, kids enjoyed an opportunity to have their photo taken in a Cat skid steer or with Fredbird, the St. Louis Cardinals’ mascot. At the “Scrape, Dig & Lift” area, kids and adults could win prizes, autograph a dozer blade painted to look like a ferocious animal mouth, go for a ride in an JLG 80-ft. aerial lift, operate a Manitowoc 2250 crane via a training simulator and climb on a variety of other excavation and crane equipment.
At the “Machines in Motion” demonstration area, the children were able to see a GMK Grove 120-ton crane hoisting a 9,300-lb. skid steer, a Cat 963 hi-lift loading rock into a dump truck and a Cat 420 backhoe breaking large boulders into pebbles.
Lastly, the kids could get a free meal and have their hard hats signed by Chris Pronger of the St. Louis Blues.
“This event has generated more interest and excitement than we ever could have imagined in the first year. The weather was amazing, the kids were smiling and the parents could not stop talking about how great the event was,” said A.J. Ford, vice president of marketing of Budrovich.
“How many kids do you know would turn down the chance to climb on big construction equipment? It’s every kids’ dream,” said one mom.
One of the children summed up the event by saying she would like to pursue a career in construction because, “It would be fun driving all the machines and stuff and also help other people build things.”
Jennifer Johnson, marketing manager of Fabick CAT, said, “After this year’s success, we hope next year’s event is even bigger and better.”
Budrovich employs approximately 150 skilled operators, laborers and teamsters in the St. Louis metropolitan region, utilizing nearly 90 pieces of excavation and grading equipment and 40 mobile hydraulic cranes.
Fabick CAT, headquartered in Fenton, MO, is the authorized dealer of Caterpillar equipment, prime and stand-by power systems, parts and service, compact construction, rental and pipeline equipment for 99 counties in mid and southern Missouri and southern Illinois.
Its other locations include Jefferson City, Columbia, Springfield, Joplin, West Plains, Herculaneum and St. Charles, MO, as well as Salem and Marion, IL.
For more information, visit www.johnfabick.com.