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Lava® Locates Hardest Working American Hands

April 1, 2001


Lava Heavy-Duty Hand Cleaners, taking steps to acknowledge this country’s hardest workers, recently announced the grand prize winner of its Salute to Hardworking Hands essay contest. Brian O’Leary, a Fort Collins, Colo. native, was named by Lava as having the hardest working hands in America.

A truck driver by trade and a handyman for life, O’Leary’s hands have been through it all. They have donned surgical gloves to help remove bee stingers from baby squirrels and they’ve grasped a hammer and nail to remodel an entire house. They have unloaded every type of freight known to man and they know the rigors of "hanging iron," fastening chains to truck wheels during snowy weather.

"This award is really for all the mechanics, truck drivers and people with a working-man’s Ph.D., and for my wife—without her support, I wouldn’t be anywhere," said O’Leary. "I just hope I can do Lava justice and represent all the hard workers out there."

The Lava Salute to Hardworking Hands contest was held to honor Americans with the hardest working hands, as demonstrated through a lifetime of projects and/or employment.

"Hands of an Irishman," the essay written by O’Leary’s wife, Claudia, was one of more than 450 genuine and heartfelt tales of hard work that poured in until one grand prize winner was selected, along with second and third place winners and several honorable mentions.

O’Leary picked up his prize, a deluxe Snap-On tool set worth more than $4,000, the way he knows best—on the job. Upon hearing he won the grand prize, O'Leary requested a truck route through Southern California so he could swing by San Diego-based WD-40 Company to pick up the tool set.

"I think I’ll use it to help rebuild my 1959 Buick," said O’Leary of his new tool set. "I’ve really got to thank Lava for this great gift."

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