Touch A Truck, Touch A Life
In a veritable who’s who of exciting vehicles, kids could not only see the different cars and trucks, they could reach out and touch them.
More than 35 trucks, cars and vans and over 1,000 people gathered in the parking lot of Edmond’s UCO last May to support starving children in a unique fundraiser called “Touch a Truck.” Organized by the Edmond Mom’s Club, Touch a Truck began last year as a fundraiser for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Food 4 Kids program.
This year on May 16, the Edmond Mom’s Club is doing it again – only they’re making it even bigger and better. With over 60 vehicles coming this year, the club hopes to hit the 2,000 mark in attendees and raise at least $3,000.
Last year, Touch a Truck contributed over $1,400 to help hungry children in Edmond through the Food 4 Kids program. The total funds raised by the club last year made it possible to feed an additional 36 children.
The event proved to be a big hit, attracting all kinds of interesting vehicles ranging from a “Zoomobile” and a mobile vet van, to military vehicles and News Channel 5’s storm chasers. Motorcycles and mail trucks complemented the scene, which was also attended by vehicles belonging to Edmond’s SWAT team and the Red Cross. While Pepsi handed out drinks and Borden gave away milk and ice cream, OU’s medi-flight helicopter capped off the event by flying in for a landing halfway through the day.
The Edmond chapter of the Mom’s Club started 10 years ago and is currently headed by Shanon Hogan, with approximately 60 members. The club exists as a support and friendship organization for local mothers. They organize several local service projects and fundraisers throughout the year, in addition to their weekly kid-friendly get-togethers.
In preparation for Touch a Truck, many moms worked tirelessly setting up the event and putting in hours of phone calls, asking different businesses to come and showcase their vehicles. This year, Mom’s Club members Nichole Hunzicker and Jessica Joshi are running the event.
Relatively new to Edmond, the Food 4 Kids program works with schools throughout the state to provide food for children who aren’t getting enough to eat at home. “Twenty-two percent of elementary age Edmond children are from low-income households and qualify for either the reduced lunch or free lunch programs at Edmond Public Schools,” Hunzicker reveals.
“Some kids just don’t eat, except for what they are getting in school,” explains Joshi.
Through the Food 4 Kids program, teachers can help starving students make it through the weekends and holidays by sending them home with food they can prepare and eat on their own on the weekend. The packs of food come with enough for two, so kids can share with potentially hungry siblings.
“When kids don’t get enough to eat they suffer in more ways than you might think. Their school work suffers, their attendance drops, they find it difficult to concentrate and their self-esteem diminishes. It’s a cycle we can break by simply providing them with nutritious food,” says Hunzicker.
Part of the fun of Touch a Truck involves, well, touching the trucks. Kids (and kids at heart) can climb on, around and inside the vehicles and even honk the horns, as well as speak to the people who drive them. It’s an attraction that entices adults as well.
“Last year, grown men loved getting inside the crane,” Joshi remembers.
Beginning at 9 a.m. on May 16 in the UCO parking lot (located on 2nd Street in Edmond), Touch a Truck is open to all. While the club asks for a $2 donation per child, the event is free for all to attend and 100 percent of the funds raised will be donated to the Food 4 Kids program.
Several moms will be available to provide further information about donating to the Food 4 Kids program or about the Edmond Mom’s Club. For more information or to add a vehicle to Touch a Truck, email firstname.lastname@example.org.