Palmer's Pitches Aid Needy Kids

Palmer's Pitches Aid Needy Kids

Cedar Rapids, IA Longtime Kitchen & Bath Design News columnist Ralph Palmer has a sign in his office with a motto he tries to follow closely.

"If you believe you can or you can't, you're right," the motto reads.

Palmer, a well-known industry sales authority and expert horseshoe pitcher, strongly believed that he could throw about 5,000 horseshoes virtually non-stop over a 24-hour period all the while attracting a wave of local publicity while raising money for two charities.

He was right.

The owner of the Cedar Rapids, IA-based Ar-Jay Building Products actually pitched 4,844 horsehoes an amazing 2,400 of them, for ringers over a 24-hour span last month, walking a cumulative 9.2 miles and throwing six tons of iron in the process.
He also raised, via pledges for each ringer he threw, some $16,000 for two area charities Camp Courageous of Iowa, which caters to children with disabilities, and the St. Luke's Hospital Child Protection Center, which aids physically and emotionally abused children.

The 60-year-old Palmer, who is also a marathon runner and champion softball player, took only a ten-minute break each hour during his endurance effort, and suffered only minor cuts on his hand.

"I held up fine," said Palmer, who has been competing in horsehoe tournaments for 15 years. "Actually, it was kind of a rush. I wanted to average 100 ringers an hour. But, man, when I got there, I didn't want to throw another one."

Palmer got the inspiration for his charitable effort when he temporarily lost the sight in one eye early this year. "When surgery corrected the problem, I decided to celebrate by doing something for kids," he said. "The important thing is, this turned out to be a success beyond my wildest expectations."