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The trucking industry has a lot to be proud of

It's fall in Canada, or should I say, it's Convoy Season. Canadian drivers have been organizing convoys for various causes in recent years and it seems most of them take place in September and October...


It’s fall in Canada, or should I say, it’s Convoy Season. Canadian drivers have been organizing convoys for various causes in recent years and it seems most of them take place in September and October.

The biggest of these events is the North America-wide World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics.

This year, WLTC events were staged in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Collectively, the three events raised nearly $100,000 for the Special Olympics. In five years, the Ontario event alone has raised nearly a quarter million dollars for the cause.

What’s even more incredible than the money raised, however, is that Special Olympians themselves get to participate in the event. They ride shotgun in many of the trucks and then lay a lickin’ on the truck drivers during a friendly baseball game.

The WLTC is driver-driven, and you won’t find a single participant who doesn’t feel strongly about the cause. In the day preceding the event, I asked Truck News/Truck West Owner/Operator of the Year Howard Brouwer what made the convoy so dear to his heart.

“We can see the benefits with the Special Olympians while sitting in the room with us,” he said. “We can see how it affects their lives. To me, it was a great charity to get involved with because we see where the money’s going.”

Just weeks after the World’s Largest Truck Convoys came and went, on the East Coast a convoy of another type was taking shape. The New Brunswick leg of the all-female Convoy for a Cure was held Oct. 9. You can read a first-hand account of the event from Joanne Ritchie on pg. 11.

This, too, is a driver-driven event. It was the brainchild of professional driver Rachele Champagne and has since grown to include events in Alberta, Texas, a second in Ontario and the aforementioned version in New Brunswick.

Between them, they’ve also raised nearly a quarter million dollars for breast cancer research.

The trucking industry’s generosity does not end there.

As you’ll see on this month’s cover story, nearly $25,000 has been committed to a reward fund to find the thugs who attacked 67-year-old driver Alex Fraser on a stretch of B.C. blacktop.

It’s nice to see the industry, through corporate and personal donations alike, rallying to help one of its own.

And in Alberta, the 18 Wheels of Christmas campaign is rolling once again. This is a cause we at Truck News and Truck West have endorsed since its first year in 2003.

Rosenau Transport has donated a specially-designed trailer that travels Western Canada accepting food donations collected by transport companies. They are then delivered to local food banks in the regions where they were collected.

I could go on all day about how the trucking industry gives back. If you haven’t seen my biweekly newsletter Hooked Up, you should sign up at www.trucknews.com/hookedup.

It includes a Community section that highlights good deeds by those in the industry -and I’ve never been short of material for that particular section.

As an industry, it’s important to acknowledge these initiatives. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a convoy to catch!

-James Menzies can be reached by phone at (416) 510-6896 or by e-mail at jmenzies@trucknews.com.You can also follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/JamesMenzies.


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