WOODSTOCK, Ont. – “Life is bigger than cancer, and we need to beat this,” Joanne Mackenzie declared as she flagged off the 10th annual Trucking for a Cure convoy in Woodstock, Ont., on Saturday.
The veteran trucker is the founder of the event, which has been raising funds for the fight against breast cancer.
Mackenzie had set a goal of 100 trucks for this year’s running, but she said some drivers were unable to make it because they had to take rush loads.
“That is what happens in the industry. They’re dedicated,” she told Truck News.
Still it was a big success, with more than 90 trucks showing up, and the Top 10 drivers alone raising close to $60,000. As of Sunday afternoon, the contributions had topped $101,000, Mackenzie said.
Team OBAC was in the Top 10.
The team, consisting of Joanne Ritchie, executive director of the Owner-Operators Business Association of Canada, and journalist Jim Park, raised more than $10,000.
A longtime participant, Ritchie lost both her parents to cancer.
Adam Monckton of London, Ont. brought his entire family to the event.
“It means a lot to me because breast cancer affects a lot of women, and I have a lot of women in my life,” he explained.
“My mother-in-law and my sister both experienced breast cancer, and I just like to stop it from hurting more women.”
Another longtime participant was Kim Bolyea of Midland, Ont. On Saturday, her mother and daughter accompanied her to the event.
“This is a fantastic event full of a lot of wonderful people, and we are out here for a great cause today,” Bolyea said as she hung pink streamers on her rig.
Riley Geerts from Hagersville, Ont., came with his young daughter and mother for their first convoy.
“I thought it would be a great idea to bring my four-year-old daughter to get her to experience all the trucks and all these people can get together for a good cause.”
Longtime trucker Rolland Paquin, of Kitchener, Ont., also wanted to contribute to the cause.
“Something has to be done,” Paquin said.
“I know they’re doing a lot of research… but there’s always the one factor they can never solve and that is what they’re trying to do: to stop breast cancer and other cancers.”
Breast cancer accounts for 26% of new cases of cancer and 13% of all cancer deaths in Canadian women, according to the federal government.
One in eight Canadian women are expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime and one in 31 will die of it.
Photos: Abdul Latheef/Today’s Trucking
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