Big Iron Truck Show 'N' Shine organizers Matthew Stockford and Tylor Home visited Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Carleton York offices on Monday, July 25, carrying a big cheque with a big number written upon it.
"I'm so shocked," said an emotional Brittney Toner as Stockford and Home unveiled the cheque displaying the donation of $17,664.50 raised at the event held Saturday, July 23, in Woodstock.
Stockford explained the total represents funds raised through various events held at the event showcasing big rigs from the Carleton-York region and beyond, including registration, sponsorships, donations and BBBSCY t-shirt sales.
He said truckers' registration to put their rigs on display was strictly by any size donation they chose to make.
BBBSCY president Kippy Taylor, who spent the hot Saturday selling t-shirts at the popular event, called the inaugural Big Iron Show' N' Shine "a win-win all the way around."
She explained the show not only raised money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, it promoted the trucking industry, which plays a central role in the Upper River Valley economy.
Taylor, a veteran event planner, praised the efforts of Stockford and Home.
"This was beautifully planned from beginning to end," she said.
Although hot and humid, turnout to the event held on Tamarack Road, near the Trans Canada Highway Exit 191 at Woodstock, was strong all day, said the owner of Stockford Reefer Service Inc.
"I'll take the heat over rain," Stockford said.
Home, a Carleton County truck driver, said the 2022 big rig show and shine was the first of an annual event aimed at raising funds for local charities. He and Stockford said the second annual show, planned for the summer of 2023, plans to raise money for the River Valley Cancer Support Group.
The inaugural event built upon Home's smaller show and shine held nearby in the summer of 2021.
While Stockford and Home looked after most of the event planning, both thanked the many volunteers who helped ease the workload.
Taylor described the Big Iron donation timing as ideal, as BBBSCY strives to expand its services and contributions throughout Carleton and York Counties, from Upper Kent to the Nackawic area.
She said that in addition to funds, the organization is looking for mentors, big brothers and sisters to expand its programs to support the region's youth.
Toner added Big Brother and Big Sisters of Carleton York also want to add little brothers, sisters, and mentees for the organization's in-school mentorship programs.
Toner and Taylor said the organization launched its 40 for 40 initiative this year in recognition of BBBSCY's 40th anniversary.
Taylor said BBBSCY reached out to 40 local businesses, individuals and organizations to host fundraising events, including a commitment to raise at least $1,000 each.
"They will organize an event," she explained, adding the events are "designed to be fun."
Taylor and Toner said the organization wants the 40 for 40 initiative to raise funds and awareness and attract volunteers to enhance the many programs to support children in the region.
Taylor noted that BBBSCY is responsible for 100 per cent of its funding. She added all contributions stay within the local organization's service area in Carleton and York counties.
Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun