Children smile as hundreds of big rigs barrel down a Pennsylvania road on a Sunday morning. Truckers wave, some blow their horns, and families line the side of the street to watch them pass through. For the past 29 years, Make-A-Wish® Foundation’s Philadelphia Chapter hosts a Mother’s Day truck convoy to raise money for local children who suffer from critical illness. The convoy takes place just a few miles from AllTruckJob’s headquarters here in Lancaster County, and many drivers and companies participate in the annual event by driving or sponsoring it. AllTruckJobs is one of the many brands sponsoring this annual Lancaster County truck convoy.
Preview: 2018 Lancaster County Truck Convoy
The Lancaster County truck convoy started in 1990 all because one kid wished to ride in a big rig and talk to his sister on the CB radio. Make-A-Wish® reached out to the trucking community and truckers came out to drive him all around Lancaster. From then on, it became a tradition. Today the convoy brings in more than 500 trucks and an estimated 25,000 people show up to observe. There’s also a carnival that takes place where the convoy begins at Burle Business Park, and that draws between 5,000 and 7,000 people who gather to enjoy games, live entertainment and food before the trucks take off at 1:30 p.m.
“I have come to refer to this event as the world’s most positive expression of the truck driving community,” said Ben Lee, regional director for Make-A-Wish® Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley. “In Lancaster County, especially around the time of the Mother’s Day Truck Convoy, truck drivers are held at very high esteem around here. People, when they see a truck, when they see a driver, they see somebody who has chosen to share their Mother’s Day with this event in support of granting the one true wish of a local child with a critical illness.”
Local Truckers to Drive in Lancaster County Truck Convoy
Many drivers participate every year and look forward to this event. It’s not only special for the children it impacts but for the drivers who get to make a difference in their lives.
“It’s a great fundraiser, but the best part of it for me is seeing the smile on the Wish children’s face when they get to hop up in my truck and go for a ride,” said Greg Bremer, a driver for A&S Kinard in York, Pa. He’s been driving for seven years, and this will be his second year participating in the Lancaster County truck convoy.
Randy Gingrich, a truck driver for Ephrata-based Four Seasons Produce, Inc. has participated in the trucking convoy at least a dozen times and has been a driver for nearly 16 years. He also was a Wish kid himself, so the fundraiser has personal sentiment to him. “Get involved with Make-A-Wish®,” Gingrich said. “It is a very good organization. I am actually a Wish kid, so it’s a very good cause.”
Listen Here! BigRigBanter Features Lancaster County Truck Convoy
Hear more about the truck convoy in this month’s BigRigBanter podcast, “Everything Owner Operators!” Listen to the whole show, or tune in for just the Lancaster Country truck convoy portion, which starts at 28:40.
This year the Lancaster County truck convoy will take place on Sunday, May 13, with registration opening at 6 a.m. Truckers are welcome to register the day of the event, and a minimum donation of $100 is encouraged.
What are some ways you give back to your community as a truck driver? Share with us in the comments below!