Mother’s Day convoy sets new world’s record: 590 trucks

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Updated May 13, 2016

The 27th annual Mother’s Day convoy in Lancaster, Pennsylvania Sunday did not just break the world’s record for the largest one ever … the event obliterated it.

Keith Wagner prepares for Sunday’ Make-A-Wish Convoy

A total of 590 trucks participated in the convoy, which raised money for Make-A-Wish for Philadelphia, Northern Delaware and Susquehanna Valley. The previous Guinness World Record was 416 trucks in a convoy in 2004 in the Netherlands.

(See some of the trucks that helped set the new record.)

The organization does not yet have a total amount of money raised, but they do expect it exceed last year’s total of $300,000.

RoadPro, which is located in Palmyra not far from Lancaster, did its best to ensure Make-A-Wish can continue helping children with life-threatening illnesses. Just before the convoy hit the road, Chuck White, vice president for rands and marketing for RoadPro, presented Make-A-Wish’s President and CEO Dennis Heron, with a check for $20,000.

RoadPro VP Chuck White (left) and two member of the company’s drivers council Tom Kyrk and Henry Albert present $20,000 to Make-A-Wish President & CEO Dennis Heron (right) and wish recipient child Justin Perales

RoadPro is the presenting sponsor of the convoy.

“This touches us in so many ways,” said White. “It speaks to who we serve, and we are so blessed to be a part of this.”

Kyle Miller, one of the drivers in Sunday’s convoy, normally uses a 2003 Kenworth W900L to haul equipment for his family’s construction company and grain for the family farm.

On Sunday he drove near the head of this, his third convoy, by raising $2,870.

When asked why he participates, Miller said, “It’s to help the kids. That’s why everybody is here, isn’t it?”

And, it was a diverse lot of drivers who took time on their Mother’s Day to make the 26-mile round trek from Lancaster to Ephrata Sunday.

J.B. Stoltzfus was there in a 1957 GMC “Cannonball” cabover that until a couple of months ago spent the last 41 years in a barn untouched. Conversely, Lisa Grover, a company driver for Central Penn Transport, drove the 2016 Peterbilt 579 that became hers at the end of March. Nineteen drivers for the A. J. Blosenski trash and recycling company in Elverson lined up in their trucks Sunday. 

It was Marvin Sauder’s 2014 Freightliner that led the convoy Sunday. The owner/operator from nearby Reinholds secured the lead truck position by raising $13,600 for the event.

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Sunday’s was his 12th convoy, before which he said, “This is something we can do to help these children. The Lord has been good to us, and we can’t do more than pass it along.”

Also in the convoy was Keith Wagner, a local driver from Little Britain, in southeastern Lancaster County. For him, this convoy to help kids is personal.

Before the trucks rolled out of the Burle Business Park Sunday afternoon, Wagner was using some clear packing tape to affix the photos of some special children to the side of the trailer put to his 2002 Kenworth W900.

Between them, Wagner’s two daughters have adopted nine children, all with special needs. Their names are also on the back of the jacket he wore Sunday. Two names — Harley and Elaina — are in stars on the side of a tractor/trailer embroidered on the jacket. Those are his two grandchildren who lost their battles; Harley to a bowel obstruction and Elaina to what the family believes was sudden infant death syndrome.

Wanger, his daughters and his grandchildren — two whom have been recipients of the generosity of Make-A-Wish — were recognized on stage.