On Sept. 16, stretches of highway throughout North America will be lined with an expected 4,000 trucks as they convoy to show support for the athletes of the Special Olympics and attempt to maintain status as the World’s Largest Truck Convoy in the Guinness Book of World Records.
An international event, the truck convoy is a partnership between law enforcement and truckers to raise money and awareness so that Special Olympics athletes can continue to train in year-round sports activities. This year’s convoy is expected to unite more than 4,000 truckers in 34 states and Alberta and Ontario, Canada, and raise nearly $600,000. In 2005, the event attracted nearly 1,800 truckers and raised $439,309.
The idea for the event was conceived in 2001 by Cpl. Norm Schneiderhan, a special project coordinator for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. Schneiderhan, who drove a truck for his father’s trucking company before becoming a police officer, wanted to call truckers’ attention to the Special Olympics.
Trucking companies and drivers who want to participate in this year’s event can get more information and a registration packet at www.worldslargesttruckconvoy.com. The minimum donation to participate in the convoy is $100 per truck. Trucking companies can bid additional sponsorship funds to win the leading spot in the convoy.
Founded in 1968, Special Olympics promotes understanding, acceptance and inclusion between people with and without disabilities. Through year-round training and athletic competition and other related programming, the organization provides 2.25 million children and adults with disabilities in more than 150 countries with opportunities to develop physical fitness and friendships. For more information, go to www.specialolympics.org.