MADISON, Wis. – On Saturday, September 19th, dozens of law enforcement officials will escort approximately 150 trucks along Highway 41 from Richfield (Exit #60) to Oshkosh (Exit #113) to raise funds for Special Olympics Wisconsin athletes as part of the 11th Annual World’s Largest Truck Convoy presented by E.H. Wolf and Sons.
This event marks the end of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (September 13-19) and honors some of Special Olympics’ biggest supporters—the men and women who move America. In addition, it also falls on National Thank a Police Officer day, celebrating Special Olympics’ special relationship with law enforcement through Law Enforcement Torch Run® events.
Truckers will register at the Pioneer Travel Plaza in Richfield (3230 Pioneer Rd, Richfield, WI 53076) starting at 6:30 a.m. Drivers put a lot of time—and elbow grease—into preparing their trucks for the big day. Some trucks will arrive with banners hanging from their grills and in the past, others have even used painter’s tape on their trailers to show their support.
This year, thanks to the generosity and support of Badger Utility, contest-winning artwork from two Special Olympics athletes, Renee Cappetto and Crystal Fougner, will be featured on the side a participating truck. Capetto and Fougner will serve as Convoy Marshals and share with truckers and attendees the impact of Special Olympics on their lives. The two have also created custom artwork that has been turned into thank you cards for law enforcement attending the event.
Ron Mathiesen, a Badger Utility truck driver and father of a former Special Olympics athlete will drive the truck displaying Cappetto and Fougner’s artwork. This will be his ninth year supporting the Convoy.
“Special Olympics Wisconsin is very near and dear to my heart,” says Ron, “seeing the satisfaction and joy from the athletes and their parents at this event means the world to me.”
A short Opening Ceremony and live auction to determine lead truck spots will be held at 9:15 a.m. at the Pioneer Travel Plaza. At 10:15 a.m., law enforcement squad cars will escort the trucks on their 53-mile journey northbound along Highway 41.
Families will cheer on the truckers from frontage roads along the route to their destination at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) (3000 Poberezny Road in Oshkosh, WI) at approximately 11:15 a.m. The day will wrap up with a celebration party complete with music, awards, raffles, an auction and tailgate party.
In 2014, 165 trucks participated and raised more than $122,000 for the 10,000 Special Olympics athletes in Wisconsin. Since 2005, Wisconsin’s Convoy has raised more than $821,000 with a total of 1,240 trucks!
Special Olympics programs across America will host similar events to celebrate truckers. The event takes place in 12 states and three Canadian provinces in partnership with the Law Enforcement Torch Run®, a volunteer movement established by members of the law enforcement community to raise funds and build awareness of Special Olympics.
The event would not be possible without the support of presenting partner E.H. Wolf & Sons; founding partners, the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association and the Waupun Truck-N-Show; and Convoy hosts, the Pioneer Travel Plaza and the EAA.