TROY - While visiting the Endless Mountains Maple Festival this past weekend in Troy, I was reminded of a story I had written earlier this year.

The reminder was large -and pink.

It was a Columbia Cross Road's family new "skid steer." They had it painted pink for breast cancer awareness. The skid steer, or skid loader, is a piece of heavy equipment they use around the farm for a variety of tasks.

The skid steer was on display at the Maple Festival, and people could make a donation to the American Cancer Society by placing dollars or change in the skid steer's bucket.

I have to say that I thought the sign announcing this method of donating was pretty clever.

The sign had this message: "Every drop in the bucket helps to fill the bucket with hope."

Karen Watson, one of the owners of the pink piece of heavy equipment, was on hand at the festival with the skid steer, and she watched as people dropped off donations in the skid steer's bucket.

"Everything has been jingling in there," she commented. According to Karen, a total of $415 was raised over the weekend in the effort, and has been donated to the American Cancer Society. Their Relay for Life team is the Sugar Creek Parish team.

If you didn't read the previous story on the skid steer, Karen had talked to her granddaughter, Haidyn Watson, about driving a skid steer someday when she was old enough.

"She said, 'oh, my skid steer has to be pink,'" Karen recalled. She said pink is the little girl's favorite color.

However, the Watsons decided to take things one step further by using the pink not only to fulfill their granddaughter's wish, but also to raise awareness about breast cancer. Pink is the color for breast cancer awareness.

They ordered the skid steer from the Gehl company, which painted it pink at their request.

As the Watsons noted at the festival, the painting of the skid steer pink was the first such case of this happening. "This color was applied first in the nation," they noted on their sign.

Payton Slade, 5, of Honeoye, N.Y. attended the festival with her father, Shea Slade, and she put a donation in the skid steer's bucket.

Shea said the pink skid steer caught the eye of his niece when they were walking around at the festival.

"I think it's a good idea," he said.

Karen estimated that around 200 people stopped by at the festival to look at the skid steer. She said a lot of photos were taken.

People wanted to cast their vote for the skid steer as part of the antique tractor display contest, but it was neither a tractor nor an antique.

Karen, who lovingly refers to the skid steer as "she," noted that "she would have gotten the little girl vote hands down," due to the pink color and its popularity with girls.

Karen also noted that she had two quilts on display with the skid steer, a large one by Ralph Wilston and a smaller one by Hazel DeBoer. She said they are being raffled off as a fundraiser to fight cancer, and anyone wanting to buy a raffle ticket can call her, after May 10, at (570) 297-3575.

The skid steer will be on display at other events, including the Troy Fair.

So, if you want to join the fight against cancer, be sure to visit the skid steer, make a donation, and think pink.

Western Bradford Notebook is an occasional feature focusing on the Troy-Canton area and surrounding communities in western Bradford County. If you have a story idea for this feature, contact staff writer Eric Hrin at (570) 297-5251; email: