AMHERST, N.S. — For four-year-old Blake Lerette, the only way he could describe the thrill of climbing up into the driver’s seat of a dump truck and blasting the horn was “neat.”
But for Bill Dowe, owner/operator and the treasurer of the Truckers’ Association of Nova Scotia (TANS), the experience was far more moving.
“That’s what it’s all about — making kids happy,” Dowe tells local media while pointing at Blake.
Earlier this spring, his organization donated more than $6,000 to the Early Intervention Association of Nova Scotia. It’s an organization providing specialized services to families with preschool-aged children, like Blake, who are developmentally delayed because of conditions like Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and autism.
The truckers have been assisting the Early Intervention Association ever since the non-profit group helped a fellow trucker whose son had spina bifida.
They do so through a variety of fundraising activities that include such things as ticket draws, dances and silent auctions. From the beginning the truckers were enthusiastically assisted by the TANS Associate Trades Council, an organization that provides parts, insurance and other services to truckers.
“We’re doing it because we too like to help kids,” trades council president Colleen Theroux says.