Mother's Day Convoy of Hope: an event not to be missed

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 5/16/2014

Since 1988, truckers have made their way to Lancaster County, Pa., to raise not only money, but the spirits of sick children who are part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Philadelphia and Susquehanna Valley. The event has occurred on Mother’s Day since 1988.

OOIDA Senior Member Henry Albert participated in this year’s convoy. Albert, now of Statesville, N.C., is originally from the Lancaster County area. Albert, a member of Freightliner’s Team Run Smart Pros, said the experience is so rewarding he never misses it.

“I end up doing a lot of events during the year, with what I do with Freightliner and Team RunSmart, and this is the one we always leave the calendar open for …” he said. “Seeing how these children’s eyes light up when they get to ride in the trucks around the 28 mile parade route… the smiles it brings are unbelievable.”

This year’s event was the 25th anniversary of the original convoy. Along with fundraising, some of the children get to ride in the cabs for the 28-mile round trip. At least 331 tractor-trailers rode in the convoy, according to Albert, but some reports put the total at over 400 vehicles.

“Either way, it’s a whole lot,” he said. “I was in probably the first third of it. We were just getting to the Brownstown exit (to complete the loop) when the tail end of the convoy was coming off the exit.”
The event is a fundraiser to grant the wishes of seriously ill children—and was expected to pass the $5 million mark this year, according to Albert.

Albert said the Lancaster Make-a-Wish convoy is the biggest of its kind and that it got its start in 1988 when two children who were seriously ill said they’d like to ride in a big rig and talk to each other on the CB.

“Land Line Now” news anchor Reed Black contributed to this report.

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