Felling Trailers Auction Raises Money for Minnesota Fire Fighters Foundation

Contractor Joe Kostreba had a winning bid of nearly $5,000 for the FT-3 drop deck utility trailer

Felling Trailers Auction Raises Money for Minnesota Fire Fighters Foundation

Joe Kostreba (center) alongside Bonnie Radjenovich and Brenda Jennissen of Felling Trailers.

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Felling Trailers recently conducted its ninth annual online auction of an FT-3 drop deck utility trailer to benefit a non-profit organization.

A winning bid of $4,850.99 from Joe Kostreba of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, won the auction. Proceeds are benefiting the Minnesota Fire Fighters Foundation.

Kostreba, a local contractor, has participated in previous Trailer for a Cause auctions but never pushed for the winning bid before.

“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 5 years old, my neighbor Dave Kane, a volunteer firefighter, was killed in the Ark fire (Noah's Ark Restaurant in Sauk Centre, now Diamond Point). 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 on Jan. 7, 1985.

"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 was an EMT in Sauk for many years and worked alongside many firefighters," Kostreba says.

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

"With approximately 7 minutes left in the auction, we watched the bid price not moving,” Kostreba says. “We decided with a few seconds left to see if we could win the auction. With 5 seconds left, we entered our bid (the winning bid), only to have the confirmation screen pop up with about 2 seconds left, prompting us to hit enter again. We were both very surprised that we won and congratulated each other with a high-five.”  

Kostreba 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 it.

"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,” Kostreba says. “The trailer is going to be very well taken care of, almost too nice to use. 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 of Felling Trailers' suppliers joined to support the foundation through sponsorship of the trailer build, from lighting to tires and paint. The 2021 Trailer for a Cause sponsors were Trans-Texas, PPG, Dexter, Sealco, Peterson, Industrial Wood, Demco, Pacific Rim, and Metal Crafters/Flexco.

For more information on the Minnesota Fire Fighters Foundation’s research, education, and services, visit www.mnfff.org.

For more information about Felling Trailers, call 800-245-2809, email sales@felling.com, or visit www.felling.com


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