Drivers were out early this past Saturday morning near Moncton, New Brunswick, scraping the frost off their trucks and decorating them in traditional pink in preparation for the first Atlantic Canada Convoy for a Cure. The event was held in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
Fifteen female drivers and 31 of their male partners, supporters, and friends formed a mile-long truck convoy for the 50-mile trek along the Trans-Canada Highway
between Salisbury and Aulac, New Brunswick, to raise funds for breast cancer research. The final tallies are not yet complete, but the estimated total raised is expected to exceed $42,000.
Drivers from as far away as Summerville, Newfoundland, in the east and Brockville, Ontario, in the west and all over New Brunswick converged on the Irving Big Stop travel center in Salisbury, New Brunswick, for the start of the convoy. Drivers enjoyed a breakfast hosted by the operators of the truckstop before heading off the Irving Big Stop in Aulac, at the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia border. There, participants were treated to a lunch provided by the Tantramar High School Student Council.
Organizers Roxanne Smith and Jo Anne Phillips say in their wildest dreams they were hoping for 50 trucks and $50,000, but were absolutely blown away by the 46 drivers who did participate. They admit that the $42,000 tally is way beyond what they had realistically expected.
"We almost achieved what I had only dreamed of," Smith said. "What a day. I cried, I laughed, I thought, I ran, and when I finally relaxed at the end I was utterly overwhelmed by the support I received from everyone."
The top female fundraisers were Jo Anne Phillips of Midland Transport with $5,405, Linda Harding of Midland Transport with $2,638, and Joanne Menzies of Transport GTI with $2,300. The top male fundraiser was Jake Cormier of Kent Building Supplies with $2,270.
In addition to the sizable contribution to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Atlantic Region, Smith says the Convoy helped build bridges between the public and the trucking community.
"I was amazed to see the overpasses along the convoy route lined with cheering, flag-waving supporters," she said. "I'm not sure how they heard about the convoy, but they were out in numbers cheering us on. That was just amazing. I was really proud, just then, to be associated with this industry. These drivers are an amazing bunch of people."
Two other Convoy for a Cure events were held earlier this month. An event held in Ontario saw 40 trucks raise $18,000, and one in Alberta brought out 19 trucks contributing over $20,000 for the cause.
The first American Convoy for a Cure event launches Saturday, Oct. 24 from Willie's Place at Carl's Corners, Texas.
More info: www.convoyforacureusa.com