Canada does truck convoys

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PARIS, Ont. –For many, September marks the end of summer and back to school. But for the trucking industry, September is the month the truck convoys across the country begin to roll.

From the east coast to the west coast, trucking organizations raised money and awareness for different causes by organizing truck convoys.

In Saskatchewan, on Sept. 13, 57 truck drivers made their way from Saskatoon to Regina to raise money for children and adults with intellectual disabilities who want to participate in sport in the province.

At the end of the day, more than $39,000 was raised for Special Olympics Saskatchewan.

“Special Olympics Saskatchewan could not do what it does without the generous support of the trucking industry,” said Carissa Trenton, administrative and operations coordinator, Saskatchewan Special Olympics.

Sept. 13 was also the Ontario Special Olympics convoy. This year marked the convoy’s tenth anniversary for the province so they celebrated in style. A total of 89 registrants helped raise more than $108,000 during the convoy in Paris, Ont. Over the course of the 10 years, the province raised approximately $528,000 for the Special Olympics.

“Stories and memories of the convoy journey in Ontario since 2005 was the theme and many retired drivers even travelled hours with their families to celebrate,” said Tammy Blackwell, convoy coordinator.

In New Brunswick on Sept. 6, the Convoy for Hope – Atlantic celebrated its fifth year in existence. There were 23 trucks at the event and more than $22,000 was raised for breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer education, prevention, research and treatment in the Atlantic chapter.

Proceeds going towards Canadian Breast Cancer Research came in twos as both convoys in Prescott, Ont. and Woodstock, Ont. came together to donate for Trucking for A Cure.

In Prescott, Ont. on Sept. 6, despite the thunder and lightning, more than $15,000 was raised by 23 drivers. And on Oct. 4, more than $70,000 was raised in Woodstock with more than 67 drivers participating in the convoy.

In Nova Scotia, a celebrity stopped by for the convoy on Sept. 20. Alex Debogorski from Ice Road Truckers was a convoy marshal and even did a meet and greet with drivers. The convoy was at capacity with a whopping 152 trucks that participated, raising almost $70,000 for the Special Olympics Nova Scotia.

“The trucking industry has far surpassed my wildest expectations for this event,” said Anne Marie Shannon, director, events and communications for the Special Olympics Nova Scotia. “The success of our day comes from every driver who collected even $1. This industry has made a true difference for our organization this year. The monies will be put to good use helping us expand programs for young children and continue offering sporting opportunities for the 1,700 athletes we serve.”

In Manitoba, an astounding 190 trucks participated in the convoy. They raised close to $60,000 for the province’s Special Olympics.

“The Manitoba World’s Largest Truck Convoy continues to grow every year,” said Special Olympics Manitoba communications manager, Steven Dreger. “It’s one of those ‘goosebump’ moments when you see all the trucks on the highway all in support of Special Olympics Manitoba.”

Grande Prairie, Alta, however saw the most trucks than the rest of the provinces and even broke the record for the number of participants. The province drew an incredible 305 drivers and more than $143,000 was raised for the Special Olympics.

“It was a fabulous day in Grande Prairie,” said Shirley Norton chairwoman of the Grande Prairie event. “The community lined the streets to show their support to both the drivers and athletes. The convoy spread over 13 miles long at one point and the drivers chattered on their radios with excitement and played the Convoy song. It was a proud day for truck drivers and athletes.”

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Sonia Straface is the associate editor of Truck News and Truck West magazines. She graduated from Ryerson University's journalism program in 2013 and enjoys writing about health and wellness and HR issues surrounding the transportation industry. Follow her on Twitter: @SoniaStraface.

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