Canadian truckers come together to raise money for Special Olympics

September 14, 2018

Mark Schremmer


It took only one convoy for Ken Daehn to get hooked.

Now, you can expect Daehn, an OOIDA member from Ontario, Canada, to make the Ontario-Brant County Special Olympics Truck Convoy an annual tradition.

“It’s a sense of accomplishment, and it’s a way of giving back,” said Daehn, who is helping secure donations and sponsorships after participating in the event for the first time last year. “I thought this was a great outlet to be involved in and to try to get other drivers involved in.”

The 14th annual Brant County Special Olympics Truck Convoy will be Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Paris Fairground in Paris, Ontario. The convoy route, which can be found here, is a total distance of 132 kilometers.

Many of the trucks give rides to Special Olympics athletes.

“A lot of the drivers build relationships with the athletes,” said Tammy Blackwell, the convoy coordinator. “Some of them exchange Christmas cards and birthday cards. These guys do it for the right reasons. It’s extremely heartwarming to see. I wish we could bottle whatever is in that room that day.”

Ninety-one trucks participated in the 2017 convoy to generate about $73,000.

Blackwell said the convoy has raised about $855,000 through the first 13 years.

“We haven’t told the boys this yet, but we are going to issue a challenge for next year,” she said. “We want to raise $1 million over 15 years.”

As another way to raise money for Special Olympics, the group hosted a classic car show on Friday, Sept. 14.

“The truckers involved in this are very generous,” Blackwell said. “Most of these drivers can’t belong to their local Lions Club or other community organization because of their schedules. But they can do this event. We appreciate what drivers bring to this event not just in terms of dollars, but the fact that they are donating their time as well.”

The GTA Truck Convoy will be Saturday, Sept. 15 in Brampton, Ontario.

Mark Schremmer, senior 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 more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.