PHOENIX, AZ… The “Everyday Heroes” Kenworth T680 was auctioned recently at Ritchie Bros. in Phoenix. The winning bid submitted by Collin Stewart, president of Stewart Transport, helped net $162,000 in support of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT). The 501(c)3 non-profit is dedicated to stopping human trafficking by educating, mobilizing, and empowering the nation’s truck drivers and rest stop employees.
Stewart Transport, a Phoenix-based company specializes in delivering refrigerated and dry van freight and is a long-time supporter of TAT and its mission to end human trafficking. Stewart attended and placed the winning bid at the live auction. For Stewart, it was hard to pass up the opportunity to place a bid on a truck that supports an organization he believes in so strongly.
“Our new Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 will allow us to help support and promote TAT’s efforts in the fight against human trafficking,” said Stewart. “Our drivers are TAT trained so they’re knowledgeable about the program and know how to help identify human trafficking on the road. This Kenworth T680 will be a great addition to our fleet.”
“The Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 auction was a fantastic success, thanks to our incredible sponsors, who generously donated parts and money to build this special truck,” said Don Blake, new truck sales manager at Inland Kenworth – Phoenix, TAT board member, and driving force behind this year’s auction. “Two years ago, our first Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 auction netted $83,000 for Truckers Against Trafficking, and served as a stepping-stone to increase the trucking industry’s awareness of human trafficking. That effort helped us to achieve this year’s even larger donation.”
\The $162,000 donation nearly doubled the previous donation TAT received from the previous Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 auction, making it the largest one-time gift in the organization’s history, according to Kendis Paris, TAT executive director. “We are so grateful to have Collin and Stewart Transport submit the winning bid. Not only will Collin’s generous purchase help us fund our programs, but they obtain a high-performing Kenworth T680 that will serve as a great addition to its fleet,” Paris said.
The Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 is fully loaded with a 76-inch sleeper, and features the PACCAR Powertrain with a PACCAR MX-13 485-hp engine, PACCAR 12-speed automated transmission, and PACCAR 40K tandem rear axles. According to Stewart, the company’s new Kenworth T680 will join a fleet of more than 100 trucks and will be utilized in the Western region of the United States.
“The industry again showed its generosity by coming together to support TAT and its important work. The funds will be used to expand our work within the trucking industry, and further our partnerships with law enforcement, additional modes of transportation and multiple countries, in the fight against human trafficking,” Paris said. “Special thanks to Kenworth and Ritchie Bros., as well as all of our amazing sponsors. And, I can’t say enough about Don Blake’s contributions to TAT. This major fundraising project required a tremendous amount of time and effort, and illustrates his dedication to our cause.”
According to Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director, Blake’s dedication to TAT and the ultimate goal of ending human trafficking is admirable. “Don is an excellent example of making a difference by putting his heart into something he cares about,” said Swihart. “He had the idea to auction off an Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 two years ago, and it’s great for Kenworth to help him do it again this year. He is truly an inspiration to all of us, and an excellent representative of Inland Kenworth and the Kenworth dealer network. This auction showed how the industry can pull together to make a difference and support the fight against human trafficking.”
Human trafficking is an industry estimated to be worth $32 billion in the United States alone, and $150 billion globally, according to Truckers Against Trafficking. To further its education, TAT operates the Freedom Driver’s Project – a mobile exhibit, which educates members of the trucking industry.
To make the Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 truck possible, sponsors at the platinum, gold, silver and bronze levels donated parts and money to help in the assembly process.
Providing industry support for the Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 are:
Platinum Level: Kenworth Truck Company, Inland Kenworth and Ritchie Bros
Gold Level: PACCAR Engine, SEG Automotive, and Swift Charities
Silver Level: Bendix, Bridgestone, Eaton, FlowBelow, Horton, Jost, Meritor, PACCAR Financial, PACCAR Parts, Trimble, Utility Trailer Sales of Arizona, and WABCO
Bronze Level: Alcoa, Arizona Rock Product Association, Arizona Trucking Association, Beaver Stripes and Molding, Chevron, ConMet, Davco, East Penn, Ex-Guard®, National Seats, PrePass / Help Inc, Sheppard, and Tectran.
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a 501(c)3 working to educate, equip, empower and mobilize the trucking industry to combat human trafficking as part of their regular jobs. More information is available at TAT’s website (www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org).