Kansas leg of Special Olympics convoy set to roll Sept. 11

| 9/8/2010

As the pilot of the Medical Resource Vehicle – known as the MeRV – Jon Osburn admits he’s met some amazing people on his journeys. However, he said he has a special place in his heart for those who donate their time to raise money for Special Olympics.

For seven years now, Osburn, an OOIDA senior member, has served as an ambassador for the World’s Largest Truck Convoy to benefit Special Olympics. 

On Wednesday, Sept. 8, he told Land Line he was setting up the MeRV, which offers basic medical screenings for drivers, in Colby, KS, in preparation for the Kansas leg of the Convoy set to roll on Saturday, Sept. 11.

The western leg will leave from the Wilken’s Truck and Trailer in Goodland, KS, and the eastern leg will leave from the Mittens Truck Stop in Oakley. The two convoys will meet up at the Thomas County Fairgrounds for a lunch and auction planned that day. A free barbecue dinner and concert will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10, at the fairgrounds in Colby.

Osburn said as soon as he arrived in Colby on Wednesday, the welcome wagon was already out to greet him. OOIDA Life Member Joe Mentlick of Colby, who is serving as the Kansas ambassador, was there to greet him, along with the town’s police chief, who later returned with a fresh cup of coffee for Osburn.

“The people here have been so nice and welcoming, it makes you feel good to be a part of something like this,” Osburn said.

The World’s Largest Truck Convoy raised more than $606,000 last year with 1,500 truckers participating in 29 convoys across the U.S. and Canada.

Sept. 11 convoys:
Mittens Truck Stop in Oakley
Wilken’s Truck and Trailer in Goodland
Contact: Joe and Jane Mentlick at 785-443-1682
Special Olympics Kansas

Oak Bluff Recreation Centre
Contact: Terry Hopkinson at 204-771-8891
Special Olympics Manitoba

Sept. 18 convoys:
Jobing Arena in Glendale
Contact: Marlene Calabrese at 602-230-0081
Special Olympics Arizona

First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park
Contact: Jeff Henson at 800-394-0562
Special Olympics Illinois

Woodworth: Protected Cargo LLC at Exit 73 off I-49
Contact: Dee Dee Bass at 800-959-5529
Special Olympics Louisiana (Woodworth)

Spartan Stores in Grand Rapids
Contact: Tom Dowdall at
Special Olympics Michigan

Joplin: Petro
Contact: Jennifer Brown at 417-624-5505
Special Olympics Missouri (Joplin)

St. Louis: The Family Arena in St. Charles
Contact: Crystal Chalk at 314-961-7755
Special Olympics Missouri (St. Louis)

I-State Truck Center at 4600 S. Frontage Rd in Billings
Contact: Sheryl Shockley at 406-855-3790
Special Olympics Montana

Smith Softball Complex in Hastings
Contact: Katie Bowser at 402-331-5545, ext. 17
Special Olympics Nebraska

North Carolina
Charlotte: Verizon Amphitheater in Concord
Raleigh: Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion
Contact: Dot Kohlbach at 919-818-5609
Special Olympics North Carolina

Paris Fairgrounds in Paris, Ontario
Contact: Tammy Blackwell at 519-577-2556
Special Olympics Ontario

Credit Union Center in Saskatoon
Contact: Faye Matt at 306-780-9440
Special Olympics Saskatchewan

DATS Trucking in North Salt Lake
Contact: Lyn Rees at 801-301-0238
Special Olympics Utah

Tacoma Dome
Contact: Mary Do at 206-362-4848, ext. 218
Special Olympics Washington

Pioneer Travel Plaza in Richfield off Hwy 41 at Exit 60
Contact: Julie Buedding at 608-222-1324, ext. 222
Special Olympics Wisconsin

Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne
Contact: Erin Gamroth at 800-735-8345
Special Olympics Wyoming

Sept. 25 convoys:
Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines
Contact: Jeanette Steinfeldt at 515-986-5520
Special Olympics Iowa

North Dakota
Red River Valley Fairgrounds in Fargo
Contact: Kathy Meagher at 701-746-0331
Special Olympics North Dakota

South Dakota
W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls
Contact: Marty Ellis at 417-291-0202
Special Olympics South Dakota

Oct. 2 convoys:
Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington
Contact: Lisa Smith at 302-831-3482
Special Olympics Delaware

Canterbury Park in Shakopee
Contact: Kathy Karkula at 612-604-1272
Special Olympics Minnesota

South Carolina
Public Safety Headquarters in Blythewood
Contact: Sam Alexander at 803-397-6303
Special Olympics South Carolina

November convoy:
Texas – to be announced

2011 convoys:
Idaho – June 11
United Hauling Truck Show and Shine
Contact: Amy Eisele at 208-323-0482, ext. 18
Special Olympics Idaho

Kentucky – April 2
Mid-America Trucking Show
Contact: Dave Kerchner at 502-695-8222
Special Olympics Kentucky

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer

Kerry Evans-Spillman contributed to this report.