The heart of professional truck drivers will be on full display this Mother’s Day as the Make-A-Wish Mother’s Day Truck Convoy makes its way through a 26-mile stretch of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Now in its 30th year, the convoy serves as a fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley, which seeks to fulfill wishes for hundreds of children battling life-threatening illnesses.
The convoy will begin and end on Sunday, May 12, at Burle Business Park in Lancaster, which will also host the Mother’s Day Truck Convoy & Family Fun Day. The event, which also raises money for Make-A-Wish, will feature music, a live auction, food and games.
Penske is proud to serve as the “Official Convoy Trucking Company” for the third year.
“The convoy provides this exceptional moment when our wish kids are the center of attention for all of the right reasons,” said Ben Lee, regional director of Make-A-Wish Philadelphia, Delaware & Susquehanna Valley.
The chapter has granted more than 6,000 wishes since its founding in 1986. Most of the wishes from children fall into four categories: I wish to go, I wish to be, I wish to have or I wish to meet.
The convoy began with a child’s wish to ride in a big rig, one granted by truck drivers nearly 30 years ago. Since that first wish, the annual fundraiser has raised more than $7 million. The convoy has held two different Guinness World Records and is the world’s longest truck convoy.
As many as 600 truck drivers are expected to participate in the convoy this year, Lee said, making this the largest convoy to date. About 130 wish kids are expected to ride in the convoy, which attracts about 25,000 spectators each year.
In addition to the 30th anniversary celebration, the event will have a new attraction this year: a “Wish Angel” bus.
“It is a special bus that we have never done before,” Lee said. “We have parents who have lost a child, and a majority of them have never had a chance to see the convoy. Now, they will get to experience the convoy and see the love people have for them along the route, and I am excited about that.”
Penske has been happy to support the work of Make-A-Wish on behalf of the children and families it serves.
“It is astonishing what Make-A-Wish does for children with life-threatening medical conditions,” said Andrew Stevenson, a manager of national retail truck centers at Penske. “Their dedication to supporting those families ties back to our core values of commitment and dedication to excellence.”
“Just the respect of the Penske brand as a national company to have your support, standing alongside us, adds a lot to the legitimacy and admiration to the event,” Lee said. “We are honored to have Penske have their name next to ours.”
For more information on the Mother’s Day Truck Convoy & Family Fun Day, visit WishConvoy.org.
By Bernie Mixon