Amanda Seyfang is more outgoing and responsive since she started taking trips to play softball, basketball and volleyball with her friends at Special Olympics, says Dick Seyfang, her father and an OOIDA member from Akron, NY.
Amanda, now 18, was diagnosed with autism as a toddler, but is active and plans on moving out of her parents’ house and to a group home next year.
The father and daughter hope to participate in this year’s World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics on Sept. 15. The 2006 event drew a total of 1,800 trucks lined up on highways in 40 U.S. states and in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Ontario. A total of $544,000 was raised for Special Olympics – a 25 percent increase from 2005 figures.
Organizers of this year’s convoy hope its unique connection of trucking with law enforcement will raise even more cash for the non-profit agency that provides sports training and competition to more than 2.25 million intellectually disabled adults and children.
Kristen Schmidt oversees the event in Kansas, and said the annual convoy and Law Enforcement Torch Run provide the agency’s largest grassroots fundraising.
The minimum donation to participate in the convoy is $100 per truck.
More information about the convoy is available at www.specialolympics.org.
Though the stereotypical relationship between trucking and law enforcement officers can be contentious, Dick Seyfang said the convoy stands out as a show of unity for Special Olympics.
“A lot of fellas from both sides really put their best foot forward to make the event a success,” Seyfang told Land Line Magazine.
Dick Seyfang credits the Special Olympics and the dozens of activities the non-profit group organizes for 2.25 million intellectually disabled adults and children.
“She gets on that bus and says, ‘I’ll see you when I get back,’ ” he said. “She’s developed all kinds of great communications skills.”
To download a complete convoy schedule for each state, click here.
– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer