By Clarissa Kell-Holland
Organizers of this year's Convoy for a Cure events hosted in Canada and the United States say that while their convoys take months of planning and hard work, the sight of drivers pulling in to the events with their "pinked out" trucks makes everything worthwhile.
OOIDA Life Member Cindy Stowe of Will's Point, TX, told Land Line that all of the drivers have a personal story to share about why they are participating in her convoy. Her event raised more than $13,000 this year.
"Everyone wants to find a cure for this disease that affects so many drivers and their family members," Stowe said. "This is a way for the driving community to come together and raise money to fight breast cancer."
Convoy for a Cure founder and organizer of the Ontario-East event, Rachèle Champagne, admits things really came together for her at the end for this year's event. She recently had a sponsor who paid to have her trailer "pinked out" for the convoy. However, she was even more surprised when her company, Normandin Transit, presented her with a matching pink and white 2007 Kenworth to drive.
Champagne said this wouldn't have worked out without the generosity of another Normandin driver, Normand Boulet, who until a week ago, was driving the white Kenworth.
She said that all but five trucks in their fleet are blue, but that Danielle Normandin personally called Normand, who was assigned one of the white Kenworths, and asked him if he would be willing to swap trucks with Champagne. She was told he readily agreed.
"Besides giving up this amazing truck for my older one, he also cleaned it out for me, helped me move all of my stuff into the new truck, and left all of his chrome he had personally purchased for the truck," she said.
"Normand went way above and beyond what he had to do, but he told me he believed in our cause and wanted to help," Champagne said.
The Ontario-East event included more than 45 trucks, two buses and raised approximately $20,000 for breast cancer research.
Last year, four convoys in Canada and the United States raised nearly $100,000. In 2010, the five convoys so far have raised more than $120,000, with more money coming in by way of online donations.
The Ontario-West Cure convoy had 33 trucks and raised more than $36,000. The Cure-Atlantic region convoy from Salisbury, New Brunswick, to Aulac, NB, raised more than $40,000, while the Alberta Convoy raised approximately $15,000. LL