Trucker Buddy honors OOIDA member

| Monday, July 21, 2003

Bret Wicker, an OOIDA member from Jacksonville, NC, has been named Trucker Buddy of the Month for July.

The petition nominating Wicker for the honor included parent’s signatures. Above the names was the declaration that Wicker, or “Bam Bam,” as the class calls him, “deserves recognition for enriching the lives of our children, par excellence.”

Wicker is an owner-operator, leased to CRST, and he brings his Freightliner to Ms. Lanae Breger’s kindergarten students at Del Prago Elementary in Boca Raton, FL. Breger gives Wicker an “A+” for being a positive role model for both the trucking industry and as a Trucker Buddy.

“He has exceeded all [our] expectations,” she said. Wicker takes his responsibility seriously and helped establish educational objectives for the school year. “Bret responded to each of the children’s questions and always provided in-depth, factual information.” She added that his letters were “written as though the children were his younger brothers and sisters.”

That sentiment is echoed by her students. “I just wanted to tell you that Bam Bam was a great Trucker Buddy [and] it was excellent having him in our class,” one student, named Ben, wrote in a letter. “We were able to show him how smart we are.”

Wicker’s efforts in helping these children learn geography, social studies, math and writing earned him the honor. Wicker joined the program last December and has already made an impact on his class. He is one of 4,000 drivers who share their time with more than 4,400 elementary classes throughout the world.

Wicker will receive a personalized jacket, a check for $300 to spend on his class and $200 in Trucker Buddy merchandise, compliments of TMI-MultiMedia, an advertising agency. He will be given a copy of “For the Long Haul” by Donde Publishing as well as an Accident Photo Pak to carry in his truck. The class will receive a CrossCountry USA game from Ingenuity Works, which will help them learn more about how trucks move freight across the nation.

Trucker Buddy is dependent on corporate sponsors such as TMI-MultiMedia to fund the program.

Major contributors include platinum sponsors DCSTrucks.com, ManComm, Transcore, and ProTrucker and Over the Road magazines; gold sponsors American Graphics Group, Delphi, Kenworth, Midnight Trucking Radio, OOIDA, Truckin’ Bozo, Mike Ryan Motorsports, TruckDriver.com and Wal-Mart; and silver sponsors ArvinMeritor, Detroit Diesel and OTR-Canada.

The only criteria to be a Trucker Buddy is to be a professional driver willing to send a post card each week to an elementary class. Drivers can apply on line at www.truckerbuddy.org or by calling 1-800-MY BUDDY.

Companies or individuals interested in being sponsors can contact Ellen Voie at Trucker Buddy International at 1-800-MY BUDDY.

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