UPDATE: OOIDA Truckers for Troops ‘09 best yet

| 2/5/2010

OOIDA’s third annual Truckers for Troops campaign raised $61,973 to send care packages to military men and women stationed in combat areas overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston and Membership Department Supervisor Sylvia Dodson announced the grand total on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the Association’s headquarters in Grain Valley, MO.

The third telethon took place the week of Dec. 7-11, 2009. During that week, 10 percent of renewal and new membership fees to OOIDA were matched by the Association and put into the fund for troops.

Land Line Now, the Association’s official radio show on Sirius XM Radio’s “Road Dog” channel, promoted the campaign during its regularly scheduled broadcasts, 7 to 8 p.m. (EST). New and renewal memberships were discounted from $45 to $25, 10 percent of which went toward the care package funds.

Country singer-songwriter Leland Martin, an OOIDA life member, was a special guest at the brief ceremony on Wednesday. Earlier this year, OOIDA partnered with Martin to help raise funds for the program. A portion of the sales of his CD “Truckers for Troops” goes toward the program. Martin is also including a free DVD with every “Truckers for Troops” CD purchased on his Web site.

The DVD has six Leland Martin music videos, two of which are for songs on the “Truckers for Troops” CD. The DVD also includes “behind-the-scenes” footage and bloopers.

Martin performed the title track from his CD for the post-telethon celebration and then it was time for staff to get back to packing boxes.

Some of the items included in the care packages sent in past years were self-heating coffees, socks and personal care items. However, among the most popular were the handmade greeting cards.

“We’d like for as many people as possible to keep sending us cards and letters to put that special added touch in the care packages,” said Norita Taylor, OOIDA’s media spokesperson. “Especially from kids, it really means a lot.”

NOTE ON CARDS/LETTERS: Towns or school names should be included, but please do not include last names or other personal information. Send them to OOIDA headquarters, attention Norita Taylor or attention to Truckers for Troops, P.O. Box 1000, Grain Valley, MO 64029-0712.