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10/3/2012 2:20:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Float Association takes out $10,000 loan for new truck
Kacie Thrift
Staff Writer

The Cashmere Royalty float found itself stuck on top of Stevens Pass this summer after the truck broke down on the way back from a parade. Soon after, people in the float association decided it was time for a new truck to haul the float trailer.

Ben Ellis, treasurer for the float association, said the truck they had been using was 15-20 years old and had been with the float association for seven to nine years. The truck had been repaired several times since Ellis started working with the royalty five years ago.

In five years, the association put money into the truck for a transmission rebuild, engine work, and other mechanical work. However, this summer the truck saw its last parade.

"This year they were coming back from Marysville across the pass and it died," Ellis said. "They had tire problems on the trailer so they had to get that fixed and then on the top of the pass the truck died. The transmission just stopped working. The transmission ceased functioning."

The float driver, Bob Phillips, was stuck on U.S. Highway 2, just a couple miles on the other side of Stevens Pass. Ellis said the truck would not budge and the transmission was completely gone. There were parts of the transmission blown all over the pavement. So much so, the State Patrol had to come to the incident.

The royalty's fund was charged $1,000 to have the truck towed back to Cashmere. Ellis said they took the truck to the mechanic, who said the truck needed serious transmission work.

"We actually had some of the transmission work done after the Stevens Pass incident and it cost us several hundred dollars," Ellis said. "We took it [the truck] out to test it to see if it was going to work and we didn't even make it out to Wenatchee and back before it blew up again."

It was decided a new truck would be necessary, especially since the girls had a parade coming up the next weekend in Seattle.

Ellis found a used truck for sale in Wenatchee that seemed to be big enough and would work for pulling the trailer. The float association took out a $10,000 loan to pay for the new truck.

"The truck we were using before was basically a glorified pickup truck. A one-ton, dual-wheel, big pickup truck. It was never really big or serious enough to pull that big trailer. The new one is," Ellis said.

The budget each year for Cashmere Royalty is a little under $10,000 so the loan will be paid off over a couple of years by using some of the royalty money. The truck will be used to raise the majority of the float associations budget.

Ellis said advertisements are sold on the trailer, and through that, the association raised around $6,000 a year. Other money comes from they city's hotel/motel tax, and Chelan County has also provided the association with some money.

Recently, the Cashmere Lions Club donated $2,000 in a deceased members name, Fred Wallick. Wallick was a part of the Lions Club for a great amount of time. On Sept. 21, Wallick's wife, Jan and Lions Club Member Jim Schultz, presented the money to Ben Ellis.

"We are so grateful for the donation from the Lions Club. If other people in the community would like to help [with costs] that would be great too," Ellis said.

The five years the float was not being used, Kim Phillips decided she wanted to get involved and get the float back up and running. With the help of Ellis, Kim and Bob Phillips, the royalty has been able to participate in parades with a float.

Ellis said if people do not want to give cash donations, the float association is always looking for volunteers. If people are interested in helping build the float, driving the truck, or chaperoning the royalty girls please contact Ben Ellis or Kim Phillips at 782-2717.

In the past, the Phillips have been chaperoning and driving the truck but they are ready to pass the job onto someone else.

If you would like to donate money for the new truck, you can send a check to the Float Association at PO Box 834, Cashmere WA, 98815, or bring it into Doane's Pharmacy.

Kacie Thrift may be reached at 548-5286 or

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