Trucks set to roll on June 20 in Prince Edward Island to fight cancer

| 6/18/2009

Inspired by the success of OOIDA member Rachele Champagne’s all-female “Convoy for a Cure” in Ontario last fall, trucker Vanessa Ferguson of Prince Edward Island decided to organize one where she lives to raise money for cancer research.

The only problem with her plan was that there are currently only about five female truck drivers in all of PEI, which would have made for a rather “short convoy,” Ferguson said.

The decision was then made to open up the event to anyone who was committed to raising money for cancer research. The Convoy for Cancer is set to roll at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 20, in Charlottetown, PEI.

Ferguson said she organized the event in memory of her dad, Jack, who died of thyroid cancer in 1995. He was a heavy-duty mechanic for 37 years and taught her everything she knows about trucking.

“Everybody knew my dad. People respected his ability to fix anything and would come from all over to have him work on their equipment,” she said. “This is a great way to honor him.”

She has enlisted the help of the PEI Trucking Sector Council, which is helping to coordinate the event. Heather MacLean, the executive director there, said so far 30 commercial vehicles – including tractor-trailers, buses and some dump trucks and cement trucks – have signed up to convoy on Saturday.  Their goal is to raise about $5,000 for the PEI Chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society.

“We heard about Vanessa putting this together and we wanted to help out any way we could,” MacLean told Land Line on Wednesday, June 10. “Everybody who is involved in this has a story and can relate to someone in their lives who has been affected by cancer.”

She said the convoy is a great way for the public to see the trucking industry in a positive light.

“We always seem to get in the story if it’s a bad news story, but not often is there coverage when there is good news about trucking,” she said.

Stay tuned to Land Line’s coverage for a story about OOIDA Life Member Cindy Stowe of Wills Point, TX, who has organized the first “Convoy for a Cure – USA,” which will roll on Oct. 24 at Willie’s Place in Carl’s Corner, TX.

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer