Breast cancer convoys deliver $114,500 for cure

John G Smith

WOODSTOCK, ONT. — The ninth running of the Trucking for a Cure convoy at locations in Prescott and Woodstock, Ont., added more than $114,500 to the Canadian Cancer Society’s war chest. The Convoy’s nine-year contribution to the battle against breast cancer now stands at $715,619.

The Prescott convoy, which ran Sept. 15, collected $29,234 with 50 trucks participating. The Woodstock event on Sept. 22 brought in $85,335 with 78 trucks taking part.

That staggering amount of money is collected mostly by drivers seeking pledges and donations from family and friends and from within their communities and workplaces. Corporate donations and sponsorships account for about 30% of the total money raised says Trucking for a Cure founder and organizer, Joanne Mackenzie.

“I’m really proud of the passion and dedication our drivers bring to this event every year,” she says. “Every year they raise a small fortune in the limited personal time they have, and that’s just incredible, but it’s only the half of it. I think what they do reflects positively on all of us, and it really resonates in the communities that host the events. Business owners pink-out their store fronts, they string pink banners from the lamp posts and they come out in droves to cheer us on. The impact on the drivers is huge when they see the people in the community welcoming them and appreciating what they do.”

Many of the convoy participants have some personal connection with breast cancer. Some are survivors, some know people with breast cancer, and others have lost friends or loved ones to the disease. The actual connection doesn’t seem to matter though, all the drivers see themselves as making a positive contribution in the effort to beat breast cancer.

“I know a lot of awesome people who have unfortunately been affected by cancer,” says Hayley McKay a driver with Luckhart Transport, and this year’s top money earner for the Woodstock convoy with $7,001. “People are willing to give, but you have to get out there and ask them. I just asked a lot of people for donations.”

Barb Taylor, an owner-operator with Hyndman Transport, has been involved with Trucking for a Cure since the beginning in 2010, first as a volunteer organizer and then as a driver. She describers herself as fighter. She fought off two earlier bouts with the disease but was re-diagnosed with incurable stage 4 breast cancer in 2013. She was then given two years, but here it is five years later and she’s still working every day and driving her own truck in the convoy. She plans to return for the 10th running of the convoy next year.

“I’m a fighter,” she says. “I fight this every day with a positive attitude.”

And that’s really the best way to describe Trucking for a Cure and all the good it does. It’s about staying positive and bringing tons of enthusiasm and energy to the fund-raising task and to the convoy itself. As you’ll see in the photo gallery, the drivers and their families and friends go all out to make this a celebration.

Mack Trucks dealer Vision Truck Group in Cambridge, Ont., provided a Mack Vision that was driver by members of the Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada, including equipment editor Jim Park. They raised $3,340 for the cause.

“Vision Truck Group was honored to provide a Mack Anthem model to the OBAC team for such a worthwhile cause,” said John Baker, director of sales, Vision Truck Group. “It was great to see supporters rally around the Anthem and pledge their support to help find a cure.”

John G Smith

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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