The crane that will be located near the finish line for The Great Race today is capable of hoisting more than 275 tons.
It's also capable of raising money.
The crane, which will be positioned in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette parking lot along Commonwealth Place, belongs to Allegheny Crane Rental in Robinson. At the top it will be flying an American flag. The base is wrapped with logos and drawings from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
Kyrk Pyros, president of Allegheny Crane Rental, announced Friday that his company will donate 5 percent of the money earned by the crane on construction projects in the year dating from Oct. 1, an amount that could reach anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.
"We have a lot of crane rentals," said Mr. Pyros, who has owned the company for 11 years. "There are a lot of jobs in Western Pennsylvania. Energy companies, service companies, contractors. Millwork, power plants. Some of the largest crane companies in the world are located here in Pittsburgh."
Some cranes are small enough to fit through a doorway and still lift more than 3 tons. "The Children's Crane," as Mr. Pyros has dubbed his behemoth, can pick up 275 tons and reach a height of more than 400 feet.
"They're the backbone of so much construction work," said Mr. Pyros, who employs 20 trained operators. "They're like big-boy Tonka toys. Part of it is fun, but it can be a scary business. It's dangerous, so you have to do everything right. And you get to solve problems."
Raising money for Children's Hospital, however, is not a typical problem for a crane to tackle. Mr. Pyros, who was accompanied at the announcement by his firm's human resources director Dave Colley, said he's happy to do the heavy lifting.
"People notice when a crane is working," said Mr. Pyros, whose wife works at the hospital. "We're hoping people will see it and be inspired by it. We're thankful that the Block family [which owns the Post-Gazette] allowed us to do this."
Dan Majors: email@example.com or 412-263-1456.