OOIDA members named Trucker Buddies of the month

| 7/10/2002

A Connecticut couple has been honored as Trucker Buddy drivers of the month for June for their work with a fifth grade class at Branchville School in Ridgefield, CT.

OOIDA members Bill Taylor and Robyn Provencher of Meriden, CT, have been praised by parents for their "genuine thoughtfulness and attention" to the class and added, "In a time when students need to know that someone really cares and wants to share their time, these folks really stand out."

Bill and Robyn are owner-operators hauling liquid gases for Logex, (Logistics Express) based in Orange, CA. Last fall, Bill and Robyn's truck was stolen and the students were devastated. Despite their loss, teacher Betty Gray Brown said the couple's messages to the students continued to be positive. She commented on how they maintained their relationship throughout the ordeal, "Their attitude is the key to our respect for them," Brown said.

The students who correspond with Bill and Robyn receive individual responses to their letters. The couple does their best to make sure each student is given individual attention, said Ellen Voie, Trucker Buddy executive director. They sent letters to a student whose mom was battling cancer, and picked up material from a museum for a learning disabled student who was interested in the Civil War. When Brown's daughter unexpectedly passed away, the couple sent their condolences and a bouquet of flowers for the funeral.

"Bill and Robyn are very caring, they never forget us and they always call and write us letters," wrote one student. "We are very lucky to have them as our Trucker Buddies."

The experience with Ms. Brown's class also has been very fulfilling for Bill and Robyn. "It's been a good experience for both of us," said Bill. "We get as much out of it as the kids do."

Bill and Robyn are two of more than 4,400 drivers who correspond with more than 4,600 classrooms. Currently, more than 180 teachers are waiting for truckers to correspond with their students.

Trucker Buddy is a pen pal program that matches drivers with children in grades two through eight. The program is supported solely by donations from sponsors, such as Platinum level DCSTrucks.com, ProTrucker magazine, and Transcore, Gold Level contributors; OOIDA, Delphi and Midnight Cowboy Trucking Radio Network and Silver Level donors; ArvinMeritor, J.J. Keller and Associates, Kenworth, TruckDriver.com, Wal-Mart and TCA. For more information about the program, visit http://www.truckerbuddy.org or call 1-800-MY BUDDY (692-8339).