18 Wheels for Bubba organizer: Ordinance ‘a punch in the gut’

October 7, 2019

Mark Schremmer

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A Wisconsin town’s decision to ban almost all heavy-duty truck parking on city streets feels like “a punch in the gut,” according to an OOIDA member who helped organize last year’s 18 Wheels for Bubba event.

Last week, Land Line Staff Writer Tyson Fisher reported that the Milton city council passed an ordinance that bans truck parking on all city streets except one. The ban comes just a little more than a year after truck drivers from around the nation converged at Milton to deliver a surprise birthday party for a local teenager, who is a truck enthusiast and has cerebral palsy and Dandy-Walker Syndrome. Dakota “Bubba” Cadd, who attends Milton schools, spends many days sitting in his yard to watch trucks drive along Highway 26.

About 180 trucks and 1,200 people showed up for Bubba’s birthday party. Truckers from all around the nation brought Bubba birthday presents and paid for much of the festivities. OOIDA made Bubba an honorary member, and CBS Evening News covered the event.

“It’s a shame,” said Jeremy Wallenkamp, an OOIDA member who lives in the area and has a daughter attending Milton schools. “I thought the trucking industry really showed the community how professional we are. This is extremely upsetting.

“I just can’t believe it. We brought the town national news attention.”

Truck drivers not only helped Cadd, but they also donated thousands of dollars to Milton schools.

The Milton school district confirmed on Monday that 18 Wheels for Bubba organizers donated $2,009.68 to the school’s lunch program and $1,600 worth of school supplies.

Wallenkamp said truck drivers originally sent in money to help pay for event insurance at the birthday party. Once the event insurance fee was waived, Wallenkamp said he reached out to the truck drivers and asked if they wanted the money back or for him to donate the money to Milton schools.

“They all said to donate the money to the school,” Wallenkamp said.

A year later, Wallenkamp said it feels like the city turned its back on the truck drivers who went out of their way for the community.

“For the city to pass an ordinance like that, it feels like a punch in the gut,” Wallenkamp said.

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, associate editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.