OOIDA member, wife start trucking benefit for St. Jude's Hospital

| 3/7/2005

An OOIDA member and his wife are organizing a truck convoy to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

The event, called the Convoy for St. Jude, is scheduled for 8 a.m. local time Saturday, May 28, 2005, at the Petro Truck Stop on Interstate 40 in Knoxville, TN. The trucks will then travel to the Petro in West Memphis, AR, about 400 miles. Truckers will pay $100 per vehicle to take part, all of which will go to benefit St. Jude’s.

Bob and Barbara Brousseau of Myrtle Beach, SC, are organizing the event. The couple came up with the idea after seeing coverage for the World’s Largest Truck Convoy, an annual event that benefits Special Olympics.

The couple did not hear about the Special Olympics benefit until after it had taken place.

“I thought, I could have been involved in that if I had heard about it beforehand,” she said. “And I thought, if we can do convoys for other organizations, why not St. Jude’s? … That got the ball rolling.”

“I always thought St. Jude was a good organization, and we’ve donated to them before.”

Barb said she and Bob had already made arrangements with officials in both states to allow the convoy to come through. Each truck will have a sign in its windshield identifying it as part of the convoy.

Barb said truckers could pay cash to take part that day, but event organizers prefer that truckers register in advance. The deadline to register in advance is April 29, which should give organizers time to send a receipt back in the mail. Drivers will need to bring their receipts to take part.

In a news release, St. Jude’s officials said the proceeds from the event would go to help children who have cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, located in Memphis, TN, was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas. It opened in 1962. The families of children who are treated at the hospital do not pay for treatment not covered by insurance, and the institution shares its research with scientific and medical researchers around the world. When the hospital first opened, only 5 percent of those with the most common type of childhood leukemia survived. Now the survival rate is 80 percent.

If the convoy is successful, Barb said St. Jude’s may give the couple permission to make it an annual fund-raiser.

Entry fee checks can be mailed to Convoy for St. Jude, 3001 N. Kings Highway, PMB 227, Myrtle Beach, SC, 29577. Truckers who pay their entry fee the day of the event should bring cash. Call (843) 267-7972 for information.

--by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor