After 29 years, the annual Mother’s Day Convoy in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is looking for a new home.
Make-A-Wish of Philadelphia, Delaware and Susquehanna Valley, organizer and beneficiary of the annual convoy, was recently informed by the management of the Burle Business Park it can no longer host the event, which has been held there since its second year.
Ben Lee, the regional director for Make-A-Wish, said he learned of the business park’s management’s decision about two weeks ago. Since then, Lee said the organization’s emails and voice mail have been “flooded with all manner of helpful ideas,” including many from what he called “our incredible trucker community.”
“After all, who better than truckers to know about available blacktop?” said Lee.
Lee said the goal is to have a new location in Lancaster County nailed down by Sept. 1. He said that given the size and complex logistics of the convoy, that is about as long as Mak-A-Wish can wait. In addition to having a place for almost 600 trucks to gather, the convoy needs space for the many booths, musical stage and auction tent that are part of what is the organization’s biggest fundraiser.
This past May, 545 trucks participated in the 30th Annual Mother’s Day Convoy and raised $600,542, which is $100,000 more than the total brought in by last year’s event.
Lee said the organization will also have plenty to do with mapping out and getting permissions for a new convoy route.
But, he is confident all hurdles will be cleared in time for the next convoy on May 10, 2020.
He also said he was “sympathetic of the toll the convoy takes” on the business park. He said the convoy has grown and so has the number of employees working at businesses located in the business park, many who must work on the weekend of the event. Managers of the park said it was that reason they could no longer host the convoy.
Management of the business park could not be reached for comment.
The central building of the 75-acre business park was opened in 1942 as a U.S. Navy plant for the production of submarine radar detection equipment., according to the park’s website. Following World War II the property was purchased by RCA for the manufacture of radio and microwave tubes. Today, some 40 companies occupy about 1 million square feet of space at the park.