There was something for everyone at The Gunter Parks Foundation’s 4th Annual Touch-A-Truck fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 9, including some surprises.

“He was so excited about the fire trucks,” Erika Wall said about 3-year-old Collin, “but the longhorn turned out to be his favorite.”

Preston Trail Farms hosted the event, drawing a crowd of approximately 3,000 with ticket proceeds benefiting the Gunter Park Foundation. Additional to fire trucks, tractors, helicopters and construction vehicles were animals to pet and feed, a tractor ride, hay-bale maze and food sponsored by Goetz Realty and Development.

“We doubled the amounts we’ve raised in previous years, I think thanks to the weather,” said Foundation President Nancy Nevil. “The first year we held the event, it turned out to be the coldest day of the year and then the last two years it rained. It was nice to finally have really great weather.”

Nevil greeted guests as they arrived and was surprised and pleased by the distances that families traveled to participate, hoping the city made a great impression.

“When we choose the projects to fund with proceeds from these events, there’s a mixture of need and want,” she said. “The first project we undertook was a community-built playground that we needed for the elementary school, but we also wanted something to encourage families visiting the area to move to Gunter.”

Jonathen Morgan said he’s brought his two children to Gunter for the event each of the last three years and, like most of the kids, his son was most infatuated with the fire trucks. Long lines kept volunteers busy, but they were likewise filled with joy.

“I love working with kids,” said Gunter Firefighter Dalton Hargrave. “I’ve really enjoyed seeing them come running to the fire truck first thing when they get here. Quite a few of them have told me they want to be firefighters one day. Hearing that and seeing their smiles has been great.”