The Seventh annual OOIDA Truckers for Troops Telethon kicked off today and already the annual competition between branches of the service is heating up.
Each year, truckers can join OOIDA or renew their membership for $25, which is $20 off the regular membership price. Ten percent of that goes into a fund to send care packages to our troops in Afghanistan and other hot spots overseas. OOIDA matches every dollar.
The fundraising part of the effort is anchored by a weeklong telethon on “Land Line Now,” a news program produced by OOIDA that runs on Sirius XM Satellite Radio’s Road Dog, Channel 128.
Since the start of the effort, “Land Line Now” News Anchor Reed Black and Land Line Magazine Managing Editor Jami Jones have a bet. Reed contends Army will have the most people donating; Jami bets the other branches, working together, will emerge triumphant.
This year’s telethon includes a new twist. Each of the five days will be dedicated to one of the service branches – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
“While the competition is a lot of fun – and I will defeat Reed this year – it is even more fun to celebrate the pride that members of the service have for their particular branches,” Jones said. “In the end, the real winners are the current men and women serving overseas who will receive care packages next year.”
The supervisor of OOIDA’s Membership Department, Sylvia Dodson, said the fundraising effort was already off to a good start as early as Monday morning – thanks to some help from some old friends.
“Our phones have been busy since we walked in,” she said. “I also got a call first thing this morning that said Steve Sommers (whose show airs on WLW AM out of Cincinnati) was talking about it A LOT on his show yesterday and quite a few members got involved, too.”
Over the past few years, the Truckers for Troops effort has raised more than $360,000, enabling the Association to send more than 2,500 care packages, serving nearly 30,000 military personnel. Last year alone OOIDA sent 285 care packages serving more than 3,900 military personnel. The goal is to exceed those numbers.
All calls to join or renew membership through the start of business Monday, Dec. 16, will count toward the telethon totals.
Truckers can take part by calling the Association’s main number, 800-444-5791. During business hours and up until 7:30 p.m. Central time, operators will take the call; after hours, call the same number and press 1.
If operators are available, you will be transferred to membership. If the office is closed, it will put you in a voice mail box where you can leave your name and a phone number for membership to call you back. You can also sign up online here.
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