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Special Olympics Convoy celebrates 17 years

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More than 200 truck drivers from across the state and region converged at the Delaware State Fairgrounds on Saturday, Sept. 28, to take part in a police-escorted 29-mile scenic ride through Kent County.

The Truck Convoy, celebrating its 17th year, is part of a national effort to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics. Delaware’s event is organized by Delaware Law Enforcement, with Walmart, FedEx and Perdue serving as presenting sponsors. In addition to the Fairgrounds and Delaware Law Enforcement, supporters include Citgo, Delaware Department of Transportation, WBOC 16, WRDE and Fox 21 Delmarva.

Nearly 200 trucks participated in the 2018 event, increasing the 16-year total to more than $600,000 raised for Special Olympics Delaware. Trucks must weigh at least 10-GVW and drivers raise a minimum of $100 to participate.

“As we celebrate our 17th year, we continue to be amazed by the outpouring of support from the trucking community,” said Lisa Smith, director of development for Special Olympics Delaware. “The amount of money raised is spectacular, but what’s just as important is the opportunity for the truckers to meet our athletes, and in turn, for our families to show their appreciation back to them. The drivers will tell you that meeting the athletes and families is their biggest thrill.”

There is an opportunity for Special Olympics athletes to ride shotgun in the trucks and several designated spectator sections have been designated. In Felton, spectators can gather at the Felton Community Fire Company, Lake Forest North Elementary School and the BP Station. Harrington areas include Taylor & Messick, Harrington Moose Lodge, and a parking lot at the intersection of Routes 13 and 14. The trucks return to the Fairgrounds for a post-convoy celebration.

Nationally, the Truck Convoy was founded in 2001 by Norm Schneiderhan, a corporal with the Orange County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Department. Schneiderhan, whose family is involved with the trucking industry, was inspired by the powerful impact Special Olympics has had on his life through his participation in the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

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