Robin Anderson, development director for Special Olympics Missouri, broke into tears several times during the Guilty By Association Truck Show big rig convoy auction on Saturday, Sept. 29 in Joplin, Mo.
But who could blame her?
Anderson said she was overcome with joy as she saw truck drivers dig deep into their pockets to raise money for the Special Olympics of Southwest Missouri. The annual convoy included 522 trucks and generated $191,175, Anderson confirmed on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The totals exceeded last year’s numbers by about 100 trucks and $75,000.
“There’s really not any words,” Anderson said. “It was so amazing and so unexpected. It’s a bunch of regular people coming together to help out our athletes. Seeing their kind hearts can be overwhelming at times.”
The auction, which was for the first 15 spots in the convoy as well as the caboose, generated $105,800 in about 30 minutes. Donnie and Beverly Ledgerwood of Birch Tree, Mo., donated $18,000 for the top spot alone. The auction also drew $2,700 for an original painting of a big rig participating in the convoy for Special Olympics by St. Louis artist Vesna Delevska. Each truck donated at least $100 in order to participate in the convoy.
Fundraisers like this allow Special Olympics athletes to compete at a national level. Missouri Special Olympic athletes Brett Harper and Jeremiah Ellis, who both competed at the 2018 USA Games in Seattle, took the stage at the auction and thanked the truck drivers for participating.
Anderson said she can’t thank the truck drivers enough.
“They are probably the most generous and kindhearted group of people I know,” she said. “Truckers are so compassionate and involved in our program. They genuinely care about our athletes and what they can do for our athletes.
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