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Make-A-Wish for Motherís Day

By: Marianne J. McLaughlin

This Motherís Day was celebrated with over 400 trucks and their drivers, over 4000 gawking spectators, clowns, games, live entertainment, food and an auction. Instead of flowers, jewelry and cards the sparkle of Motherís Day was polished chrome, steel and fiberglass glinting in the springtime sun. There were monster trucks, stock cars, fire engines, tankers, flatbeds, reefers, and classic trucks. There were Macs, Peterbuilts, Kenworths, Volvos, Internationals and many others. The loving sentiment of Motherís Day was amplified by the good intentions emanating from all present. All gathered with one purpose: to help make the wishes of children with potentially terminal illnesses a reality.

This amazing spectacle all started back in 1990 when two very special children voiced their wish to ride in a big truck. The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Susquehanna Valley gathered 43 trucks and their big-hearted drivers together in Lancaster, PA to make this dream come true and it resulted in the annual Motherís Day Convoy. It continued every year thereafter. In 2003 enough trucks gathered to make the Guinness World Record for The Worldís Longest Truck Convoy. In 2004 they broke the record again with 391 trucks! There were over 400 trucks that participated in this yearís 16th Annual Motherís Day Convoy, again breaking the world record.

Wish children benefit from the convoy in many ways. Some children ride along in the convoy with the truckers. Drivers also collect pledges for the event. Those drivers who collect the greatest amounts are honored with a place in the front of the convoy as are the convoyís top sponsors. Over 80% of the funds raised by Make-A-Wish (of Susquehanna Valley, Pennsylvania) are used to grant childrenís wishes.

Everything needed to get this huge event rolling is donated. The food, game prizes, entertainment and even auction items come from individuals and companies who want to help make Wish-childrenís dreams come true. The truckers participate for no compensation other than the knowledge that they are helping to make a difference in the world of a special child. There is a $50 registration fee for each truck. Any individual or company who is interested in sponsorship, donations, participation or more information may contact the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Susquehanna Valley at (717) 295-6684.

©2005 Marianne J. McLaughlin
Written for publication on ATruckersWife.com (with much gratitude from the ATW founder)
Please do not reprint without permission

About the author:
Marianne along with her "trucker" husband and children, attended the 2005 Make-A-Wish for Motherís Day Celebration in Lancaster, PA.
"...the convoy was an absolute BLAST! I've never seen so many rigs all shined-up in one place before. We're definitely making a habit out of this event!"
-Marianne

More Photos:
Click on the small photos for a larger copy.

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This is a miniature tractor & trailer.† Everything is real and functional - it has real air-brakes, 5th wheel, even the airhorn, all to scale for kids.† This is my son Roland (4) goin' for a ride...So you can understand the scale of the truck - this little truck and trailer were up on the flatbed trailer of another truck.† How cool is that?!

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And this is my son, Ian (3) in the same truck. Just like Daddy! The mini-truck even has a functional engine! This truck travels all over to truck shows etc. making quite an impression on the kids and adults alike!

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Here is one of the monster trucks that was present - My boys are in the wheel wells for scale...

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One of 2 stock cars present at the event. They were open for the prying eyes (and drooling) of all present. I learned that stockcars have FAKE stick-on headlights. Guess it makes sense...keeps 'em light and they don't drive at night without the arena/track lights on. Who woulda thunk it? As you can see, Ian is getting in touch with his TRUE trucker's kid side (he's so overcome by trucker's instincts, he's grabbin' himself).

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The kids (Roland - 4, Ian - 3, and Lily - 11 months) had a lot of fun and it was a fantastically beautiful day! It sure helped that there were games, prizes and food (especially the candy & ice cream that they are asking for in this picture). "Awww, come on Mom. Pleeeeeease?"

Additional Facts:
407 trucks took part in the convoy this year(2005)
15 more trucks joined in than last year.
This is the 16th year of the Motherís Day Convoy.
The convoy runs 27-miles from Lancaster to Ephrata.
Last Year Make-A-Wish was able to grant more than 70 wishes just from this one event!

For more information or to Donate to Make-A-Wish:
Susquehanna Valley Chapter
Make-A-Wish (USA)
Make-A-Wish (Canada)
Make-A-Wish (Other International Affiliates)

 



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