well represented among the 248 trucks in the Special Olympics
longest convoy July 20 in Orlando, FL. Organized by the Orange
County (FL) Sheriff's Office, this fundraiser raised a little
more than $51,500 to help more than 15,000 children and adults
with mental retardation and/or severe handicaps through Special
member Woody Chambers and his wife Paula, Hoffman Estates, IL,
represented OOIDA in the association's truck and trailer. OOIDA
member Paul Sasso, Edgewater, FL, took time out of helping with
the event to drive his 1998 Kenworth T600 in the convoy. Members
Bob and Nancy Drummond of Coco, FL, participated, driving their
show truck, a 1989 Kenworth W900B named "Ain't God Good"
with a 1998 Great Dane steel reefer. About a dozen more OOIDA
member decals were spotted, reported Sasso.
greeted us with signs saying 'Truckers rule!' 'Go convoy!' and
'We love truckers!' and hugs," said Sasso. "Now, I'm
not a sappy person, or touchy feely, but it was like running the
gauntlet of hugs, the look in their eyes and the thank you's,
it was all genuine."You got the feeling the world was right
no matter what problems we have in our industry. With all the
problems these kids have, they were really happy. They gave me
the opportunity to do something, to make somebody's life a little
bit better and to see life in a different light. Life ain't like
everybody sees it out here. I get up and wash my face; these kids
can't do anything like that. It's just humbling."
gathered at the Waterford Lakes Shopping Center at the intersection
of Alafaya Trail (SR 434) and 408 (East-West Expressway) in Orlando
and drove about 16 miles, ending at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.
were in designated sponsor categories based on the amount of their
donations: convoy participant, $100; silver sponsor, $1,000; gold
sponsor, $2,500; guardian sponsor, $5,000. OOIDA was a silver
sponsor.The donations from the truck convoy will benefit Special
Olympics, which allows one million athletes with mental retardation
to demonstrate courage and experience a sense of accomplishment
that comes with representing their communities in athletic events
around the world.
--René Tankersley, feature editor