Truckers Come to 11th-Hour Rescue in Big Fundraiser
OTTAWA — Trucks For Change Network to the rescue!
That’s how the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, Ottawa Chapter, felt recently after one of its major fundraising events was saved at the last minute by a couple of fast-thinking, goodhearted carriers.
Here’s the scene: The Society’s annual fundraising marathon, between Ottawa and Cornwall. The 2012 version of the event — on Aug. 11 and 12 — marked the marathon’s 23rd year and drew nearly 600 cyclists.
Here’s the problem: The event is growing so much, organizers had to change its venue. The old route was simply too small to accommodate all the bikes.
So they decided to offer cyclists a choice: A 75-km route or a 110-km route. There was also a one-day or two-day option. For those who chose the 75-km ride or the one-day ride, the event organizers had to wrangle several hundred bicycles to a starting point somewhere between Cornwall and the nation’s Capital. Also, another bunch of bikes had to find their way back to Ottawa.
A local trucker was all set up to provide the transportation.
However, at the last minute, for some reason Mr. Local Trucker backed out.
Luckily, the Society’s Director Leanne Anderson had heard about Trucks for Change Network.
Trucks for Change Network is like a not-for-profit load board linking charities with carriers who want to help out in their communities. When a charity needs something shipped, Trucks for Change Network posts it on its online program, allowing their carrier members to view the request and decide if they have the capacity to help.
“A lot of this stuff was happening prior to us being around, but it was happening less efficiently. We are organizing the charity request process to make it more efficient,” explains Trucks For Change Network Founder and President Pete Dalmazzi, who launched the organization last year.
Anderson called Dalmazzi on a Friday and by Monday, two Trucks For Change Network member companies — Kriska Transport and Harland-Veinotte — had stepped up.
“It was a really quick response,” Anderson says.
A Kriska truckcarried bikes back to the start line in Ottawa on Saturday and Harland-Veinotte took the bikes Sunday morning to where the cyclists congregated for the start of the shorter of the two marathons. Both carriers donated their time and trucks.
Comments Anderson: “When these trucking companies stepped up and said they could help it was a huge relief.”
You ca find out more about Trucks For Change Network by visiting www.trucksforchange.org
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