By Sandi Soendker, Land Line managing editor
“Cpl. Norm got his Highway Angels” – that’s a line from a Leland Martin song and it’s how the group called “Cpl. Norm’s Highway Angels” got its name. But that will soon change.
On April 17, the group of trucker volunteers who dedicated themselves to supporting charities teleconferenced to assess their recent fundraising efforts. During that meeting, the group accepted the resignation of Cpl. Norm Schneiderhan, a lifelong law enforcement officer who has often described himself as a person with “enormous admiration” for truckers and their compassion.
“Norm did a great job for us,” said trucker Lee Strebel, an OOIDA Life Member from Peachtree City, GA, who has long played a leadership role in the group. “He will be missed by all of those in the Highway Angels. We thank him for starting the World’s Largest Convoy years ago, an event that led to the eventual forming of the Highway Angels group.”
Strebel said the group is reorganizing, an effort that will include coming up with a new name.
“We will also be applying for a 501(c)3. We remain committed to the mission of raising money for charities. We want to continue to raise money for kids, primarily.”
The group was originally formed to support Special Olympics and other charitable organizations through projects like the convoy fundraisers.
The group raised more than $6,000 recently during the Mid-America Trucking Show. It staged the Second Annual Parade of Lights convoy that took place Saturday, April 2, in Louisville. Volunteers also served food hot off the grill at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium during MATS in exchange for donations. Charities that benefited included the St. Christopher Fund and Special Olympics Kentucky. The Medical Resources Vehicle or MeRV was also a beneficiary of the efforts.
Strebel also said the group wished to thank Fikes Truck Line and its sister company, FTL Logistics, for donating a van trailer to the group for the transport of cooking equipment. Fikes and FTL also covered expenses for the brats and soft drinks so that donations could directly support the charitable causes chosen by the Highway Angels that support driver’s health.
Jon Osburn, pilot of the MeRV and OOIDA Life Member, is also a co-founder of the Highway Angels. He said the group was fully committed to future projects. He said the group would be narrowing its focus on “the basics” and their mission would be primarily to raise money to help needy kids.
The loosely-organized group consists of trucker volunteers who want to be part of the group’s fundraising efforts. Membership is free.
It’s estimated that close to 60 truckers are members of the Highway Angels. They are all OOIDA members.
Along with OOIDA Life Member Strebel and OOIDA Senior Member Osburn, core leadership of the group includes professional trucker and OOIDA Members Richard and wife Jennifer Bolduc, St. Peters, MO; OOIDA Life Member Cindy Stowe, Wills Point, TX; OOIDA Life Member Robert Lloyd, Ottawa Lake, MI; OOIDA Member Rene Guenther, Kingman, AZ, and OOIDA Member James Probst Sr., Charlestown, IN.
They plan to meet in May to nail down a new plan for their future efforts.
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