Picture this. 111 trucks rolling into the Mercury Marine parking lot as the sun rises on the most picture perfect fall day. Horns honking, smiles beaming and athletes, truckers, sponsors, law enforcement, families and friends gathering to show their support of the 9,000 athletes of Special Olympics Wisconsin.
The mission of Special Olympics Wisconsin was front and center with Riley Schmitz representing as the 2021 Athlete Convoy Marshal. His smile was ear-to-ear and he was literally jumping for joy as he met truckers and law enforcement and carried in the Flame of Hope at the opening ceremony with Wisconsin State Patrol Superintendent, Tony Burrell.
Special Olympics Wisconsin was thrilled to welcome back Platinum Partners, E.H. Wolf & the Kriete Group as well as a new Platinum Partner, WEL Companies. WEL Companies had 22 trucks participate! Many of their drivers also invited athletes from Bay Navigators, a Special Olympics Wisconsin local program, to travel them to the EAA. In addition to this, a very special truck led the way in the #1 spot of the Convoy driven by Riley’s dad, Danny Tankersley, with Riley proudly sitting as a co-pilot on their way up Interstate 41! The truck artwork depicts Riley & Danny walking hand-in-hand and gives a nod to Autism Awareness.
While the artwork shows the bond between Riley and his father, we cannot help but think that this is also a perfect representation of the trucking community and the support they show year after year for the athletes of Special Olympics Wisconsin. And this year was no exception with nearly $100,000 raised. The bond is 17 years strong, and we cannot wait to see what next year will bring.