By Sephanie Malench, Reporter
The 4th annual Truck Convoy sponsored by CIT Trucking, Special Olympics Illinois and Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics raised $51,240 for the Special Olympics at CIT Trucks Troy dealership on Saturday, September 14. The total shatters previous totals of $30,000 each year.
The money raised helps athletes in Illinois Region J’s 10 counties (Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Fayette, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, St. Clair and Washington) train for events held throughout the year, like Jared Levo and Nathan Shaw.
Levo, 19, enjoyed riding the bus for athletes in the convoy and competes in bocce ball, track and field, snowshoes, soccer and basketball. Shaw, also 19, rode in one of the trucks near the beginning of the convoy and competes in bocce ball and basketball.
Most of the athletes present were from the Triad School District because of their close partnership with the Troy Police Department.
The largest chunk of money raised came from the live bid for Lead Truck, which raised $20,000.
After 3 years as the lead truck, William F. Braun Milk Hauling Inc came in second place, losing by $250 to John Feder Trucking, $10,000 to $9750. The 2 companies combined to drive the first 10 trucks in the convoy.
Tim Braun, owner of William F. Braun Milk Hauling Inc said that he has never had more than one other company bid against him each year. He decked his trucks out with flags, lights, and special mud flaps signed by the Special Olympic athletes.
Seventy-three trucks participated in the 26.2 mile convoy, over double the entry rate for the first year. The convoy went south on Interstate 55 to Interstate 255 then north to Interstate 270 before returning to Troy on Interstate 55 south. The entry fee for each truck was $100 and included a swag bag and dinner from 2 Girls 4 Wheels.
Police from Troy, Maryville, Collinsville, and Glen Carbon helped with traffic control so the trucks could safely merge and stay together.
The family friendly event also had a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, Lighting the Way competition, dinner by 2 Girls 4 Wheels Food Truck, face painting by Chasing Rainbows, DJ Bonez, and a blind spot demonstration. McNamara Towing won the Lighting the Way competition for the 4th straight year.
The first truck convoy held in Illinois was in Tinley Park and has been occurring annually for over 10 years. A third is held in Hoffman Estates.
The Troy Truck Convoy is held each year during Truck Driver Appreciation Week. It is the largest fundraiser the Troy Police Department holds for Special Olympics. Other fundraisers include
Cops on Top which raised $14,000 this year and a kickball Tournament which raised $12,000.