Monday, December 24, 2007

Great News!

Over the past week the Tod Engine Foundation has brought in $9,000 for the Tod Engine House construction project! The money represents a $2,000 gift from Daniel Becker of Struthers, OH, $2,000 from the sale of an asset and $5,000 gift from the William B. Pollock Co. Foundation. The Pollock check arrived in the mail today, and I was literally dancing around the engine with it in my hand! :-)

My 12 year old dream of saving the Tod Engine and restoring it is coming true, piece by piece. With these latest donations the purchase of the steel building will be fully funded. There is still one more contribution that we are expecting, and when that comes in the foundation work for the building will be fully paid for. There is still much more to do and I will be working on the second phase of our capital campaign, but for now its time to sit back and appreciate just how far we have come.

Just think, in 1995 when I discovered the Tod Engine, it was sitting deep in an active steel mill scheduled for demolition. I was 22 years old, never been in a steel mill before in my life, had no money and no idea what I was doing. The first miracle was getting North Star Steel to donate the engine, which had a high scrap value to them. The next miracle was getting 250 tons of parts taken apart, moved and stored and do it for under $10,000. The Tod family paid for half of that and I maxed out a credit card to pay the rest.

Four years went by before I found a piece of property that I could afford to buy for the engine. Some may not think it to be the ideal location but for what I could afford its better than nothing. So I forked over another 15k to buy the land (I'm still paying that line of credit off). Then it took another six years to move all the parts to the new site, and much more money. I don't keep track of how much of my personal money goes into the project but as you can tell from the ratty truck I drive I don't spend anything on me!

During 2007 we decided to go big time, set our sights high and put up a good quality steel building for the engine. With the leadership of the Tod family we have raised $18,500 from local foundations this year, bringing the total income of the Foundation to over $40k. 2008 we will continue to build upon this and raise additional money to finish off the building and grounds while I spend all of next summer actually erecting the structure.(I don't hire contractors, I'll do all this work myelf).

Come 2009 we hope that our building will be finished and the engine cosmetically restored enough to hold an official grand opening for the Tod Engine Heritage Park!

So its a very Merry Christmas here at the Tod Engine Foundation! I can't believe the incredibly good year 2007 has been to us. Thanks everyone for your continued support of our project. God bless!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tod Engine Foundation Starts

On December 8 the Tod Engine Foundation started, a website that will eventually become a clearinghouse of information about all aspects of the study of the steel industry. The site initially hosts only a series of discussion boards covering topics such as steel history and preservation, contemporary steelmaking and steel modeling. However it will expand to include many more resources geared toward prople who have an interest in the steel industry beyond the business aspects.

Please take a look and join in the discussions!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Become a Friend of the Tod Engine

You can show your support for our project and take part in one of the most important steel industry preservation projects in America by become a Friend of the Tod Engine. I know the Tod already has many friends by the number of visits to our websites, now you can make it official! You can become a Friend with a minimum $20.00 contribution to the Tod Engine Foundation. As a benefit of membership you will receive a discount on our expanding array of merchandise as well as the personal satisfaction that comes from helping a worthy cause.

All income that we receive goes straight to our main goal of preserving the Tod Engine and building the Tod Engine Heritage Park. You can pay your dues online here:
In the Designation field please put "Friend of Tod Engine" so that I know to add you to the membership roster.

You can also mail the dues to Tod Engine Foundation, 2261 Hubbard Road, Youngstown, OH 44505.

Thanks so much!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Tod Engine DVD Available

Back in 1996-97 when we dismantled the Tod Engine I brought along a camcorder on many of the work sessions. This DVD is created from that raw video and is a documentation of the process of taking apart and moving the engine to the plate mill in Girard for storage. At the end of the video is footage of the big Tod twin tandem compound engines in operation at Bethlehem Steel and a visit to the now demolished Tod water pumping engine at Lake Rockwell in Kent, Ohio. Jeff Borne at Prairie Works has done an excellent job creating this DVD, and $15.00 from each sale comes back to us for use in preserving the Tod Engine. Go to Jeff's website and order this DVD. You will enjoy it!