Convoy Make-A-Wish Fundraiser
By Go By Truck News+
Reprinted with permission by Robin Layton, Public Opinion, Chambersburg, Pa.
The 2013 Franklin County Truck Convoy and Truck Show raised funds for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Six families were able to experience driving in a truck convoy. The event was held at B&M Diesel in St. Thomas, PA.
“Well, usually we are pretty stuffed with trucks,” said Jack Hutchison, president of B&M Diesel. “We had the whole area cleaned out to make room for today.”
Ernie Mellott, owner of Mellott Transportation Inc, started the idea. He wanted to do something to help others in return for the assistance his brother, who was diagnosed 25 years ago with multiple sclerosis, has received over the years.
“When a community of truckers pulls together, stuff gets done,” Mellott said.
Jason Haines, a driver for D.M. Bowman in Williamsport, MD drove two boys, Devin Smith, 12 and his brother Caleb, 5. The brothers have been diagnosed with Hemophilia A.
Their mother, Heather said, “They are not allowed to do contact sports. Sometimes it’s difficult for them to just be boys.”
The boys were thrilled to ride along with Haines and were great passengers. The boys were impressed by the size of the cab and sleeping area and had a lot of fun.
Jason Cavey participated in driving an entire “wish” family. He is the director of a truck driving program at the Hagerstown Community College. Cavey has a grandchild who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and likes to help out organizations as much as he can. Truck Enterprises Hagerstown Inc. sponsored Cavey in the convoy. The company’s general manager, Alan Kohler, also participated.
“The girl I drove was ecstatic,” Cavey said. “She was pushing the horn and really having fun waving at some people who were outside. She told me, ‘I can’t believe all these people are here to see me.’”
The convoy of 27 trucks traveled 33 miles making their way to Caledonia and around the square of Chambersburg before turning back to St. Thomas. Trucks paid a $75 donation to participate in the convoy. Wish families enjoyed free food, live music, face painting, and other activities. Additional funds were raised by community donations throughout the day.
Franklin County Truck Convoy and Truck Show to benefit Make-a-Wish blew their horns through the county today. Here is Heather Smith, her children Devin, 12, and Caleb, 5, with their grandmother Wanda Kiser, and with truck driver Jason Haines from D.M. Bowman. Jason took the boys on a ride in the convoy. (Lauren Cappuccio photo)