Bruce Barnes, an owner-operator from Troy, MO, is the 2008 recipient of the Gary King Memorial Trucker Buddy Award.
Barnes received the award Wednesday, July 16, in Walcott, IA, for his dedication to classroom pen pals at Craig Elementary School in St. Louis, MO.
Trucker Buddy International connects grade school students and professional truckers through pen pal correspondence.
The memorial award named after Trucker Buddy’s late founder Gary King is presented annually to a Trucker Buddy volunteer who enters the Super Truck Beauty Contest at Walcott. A five-member panel of judges chooses the winner based on criteria that include maintaining the integrity of the Trucker Buddy program; caring and sharing with kids, teachers, the trucking industry and the general public; and the appearance of the truck.
Barnes, an OOIDA member, has been leased to Witte Brothers Exchange for 21 of his 25 years in the business. He is currently running a 2005 Western Star.
“For five years I have had a grade two class. Next year my teacher is switching to a grade one class so I’m a little nervous about how to write to them as they will be a year younger,” Barnes stated.
“I write to them every month and send frequent postcards. I love being a Trucker Buddy.”
Barnes has 3.7 million safe miles under his belt and has received industry accolades that include a Highway Angel Award from the Truckload Carriers Association in 2002.
Trucker Buddy is his way of giving back.
Since Gary King started Trucker Buddy in 1993, more than 2 million children have learned about trucking through direct correspondence with the hard-working men and women behind the wheel.
Click here to learn more about Trucker Buddy.