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Trucks don pink for Ontario convoy

WOODSTOCK, Ont. – On Oct. 5, more than 80 pinked-out trucks gathered at the TA Travel Centre in Woodstock, where they formed a convoy that would travel along Hwy. 401 in a head-turning display of solidarity against breast cancer.


WOODSTOCK, Ont. – On Oct. 5, more than 80 pinked-out trucks gathered at the TA Travel Centre in Woodstock, where they formed a convoy that would travel along Hwy. 401 in a head-turning display of solidarity against breast cancer.

When all the loonies were counted, more than $50,000 had been collected for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The Trucking for a Cure convoy invites drivers of any gender to participate. They just have to bring a minimum pledge of $75 to the table, but most go well beyond that. The top fundraisers, representing Superior Propane, raked in $4,360 between the two trucks that subsequently earned the right to lead the convoy. Just as impressive as the funds raised, was the spirit of the event itself. Drivers not only decked their rigs out in pink, many wore pink themselves, including some brave men who even styled pink tutus.

Joanne Ritchie, executive director of the Owner-Operators’ Business Association of Canada (OBAC) brought in just under $3,000, enough to earn the third slot in the convoy. The event held special meaning to Ritchie.

“I’m at a high risk for breast cancer because my mom died of breast cancer,” she said. “The other good thing (the event) does for OBAC, is it gives us the opportunity not only to raise awareness about breast cancer, but also about other health and wellness issues drivers face out on the road.”

The event also brings positive publicity to the trucking industry, she added.

“At an event like this where you have a lot of volunteers who are non-trucking folks, it brings the trucking community together with those non-trucking folks,” she said. “It builds those bridges and does a world of good.”

This year’s convoy marked the fourth for the Trucking for a Cure organizers. Heading into this year’s event, the convoy had already raised more than $135,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Organizer Joanne Millen-MacKenzie was last year named the Foundation’s top volunteer in Ontario. This year, Millen-MacKenzie was presented with a specially decorated Peterbilt 579 on behalf of Highland Transport and Peterbilt Ontario Truck Centres. She’ll drive the truck for the next four years on behalf of Highland, bringing attention to the cause all year round.

“I knew there was something going on, but I wasn’t 100% sure,” Millen-MacKenzie told Truck News at the event. “When I got to see everything, I was like ‘Wow.’ I’m overwhelmed that people believe in the cause and are supporting us 100%.”

Because she was too busy organizing the convoy to drive in it herself, she handed the keys to friend Stephanie Schroeder, who has been the top female contributor for the past three years.

“We put this truck together for Joanne, who is the leader of Trucking for a Cure,” said David Climie, president of Peterbilt Ontario Truck Centres. “We’ve been working with Joanne since the very first convoy and we figured it was time she was driving a Peterbilt. This will be her truck for the next four years. This truck has every single option you can get on a Peterbilt.”

Unlike previous editions of the convoy, this one started and ended at the TA truck stop, which served as a home base for the event throughout the day.

“This year, a few things changed with our convoy,” Millen-MacKenzie said. “Normally, we start at a different location and come here. This year, we started and ended here. I was a little nervous about the turnout, but we got over 80 trucks. I’m really excited about the amount of truckers who came through.”


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