The Truck Convoy means so much to so many people. It means a great deal to the 10,000+ athletes who benefit from the money raised – a record-shattering amount raised in the 2017 Truck Convoy held on September 16 that is now approaching $150,000.
It means a lot to the families of the athletes. They know the Truck Convoy is integral to ensuring their family members continue to get the chance to thrive in athletics and beyond after gaining confidence, life skills and healthy habits through SOWI programming.
“The Convoy gives me an opportunity to share and express sincere thanks to the trucking community. I’m really in awe at the number of truckers who participate every year, with many coming back year after year.” – Major Anthony Burrell of the Wisconsin State Patrol
Of course, it means so much to the trucking community in that they get a chance to give back and show solidarity for a great cause while also showcasing the trucking community in a fun and exciting way. It means enough to the trucking community that a record 228 trucks participated this year.
“A typical truck driver is on the road 60 to 70 hours per week. Most truckers don’t have the chance to participate directly in fundraisers or charity events because of the time demand of their jobs and being over the road,” said Craig Wolf, President of E.H. Wolf & Sons Inc., who served as the Platinum Partner for the 2017 Truck Convoy. “The Convoy is a ‘vehicle,’ pun intended, for the truckers to be involved in a big 18-wheeler way to bring awareness to the importance of Special Olympics.”
As a natural extension of the mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Wisconsin, being involved in the Truck Convoy also means a great deal to law enforcement.
But for the trucking community and law enforcement in particular, the Truck Convoy offers a unique opportunity for them to highlight the strength of a partnership that may sometimes be overlooked. That partnership is perhaps best illustrated by the teaming up of Wolf and Major Anthony Burrell of the Wisconsin State Patrol at this year’s Truck Convoy. Major Burrell is the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Field Operations for the State Patrol. In a nod to the partnership between the trucking community and law enforcement, Major Burrell rode with Wolf in his truck during the Convoy.
“In this world where so much is shown as a conflict, having the participation of the truckers, law enforcement and all of the supporters along Interstate 41 coming together to support Special Olympics and the individuals who compete is an amazing experience.” – Craig Wolf, President of E.H. Wolf & Sons Inc.
“Every product we use each day has at some point been transported by a truck. In my trucking business it is the fuel used in cars that we deliver to gas stations,” Wolf said. “Law enforcement helps ensure that our roads are safe for us to do our jobs. We need and appreciate the work law enforcement does to make this happen.”
Major Burrell also recognizes how critical a strong relationship with the trucking community is and how important a role they play in the state. “Trucking brings a multitude of benefits moving commerce, goods and services,” Major Burrell said. “It’s very important and vital in our state. We work hand in hand to make sure it’s as safe and efficient as possible.”
In a demonstration of that hand-in-hand relationship, Major Burrell accompanied this year’s marshal, SOWI athlete Tiffany Berndobler of Beaver Dam, in walking the torch into the program at the Pioneer Travel Plaza in Richfield to kick-off the Convoy. While he has assisted in coordinating several Truck Convoys from a safety and logistics standpoint, Major Burrell first rode in the Convoy in 2015 when he joined Wolf, who has been a major sponsor of the event since 2012. They were in the lead truck that year and that was when Major Burrell first experienced the thrill and impact of the Convoy from inside a cab.
“The Convoy gives me an opportunity to share and express sincere thanks to the trucking community. I’m really in awe at the number of truckers who participate every year, with many coming back year after year,” Major Burrell said.
Those who have participated in a Truck Convoy probably get why people keep coming back year after year and why the trucking community and law enforcement make such a good team that really shines in the Convoy.
“In this world where so much is shown as a conflict, having the participation of the truckers, law enforcement and all of the supporters along Interstate 41 coming together to support Special Olympics and the individuals who compete is an amazing experience,” Wolf said.