Twenty-five Perdue truck drivers and their rigs hit the road on Saturday, September 28, 2019 to participate in Delaware’s leg of the annual truck convoy to benefit Special Olympics.
Perdue drivers were among 219 truckers who joined the convoy and traveled the 29-mile route through scenic southern Delaware that began and ended at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington. The event raised $45,000 for Special Olympics Delaware this year, bringing its 17-year total to more than $645,000.
Many of the Special Olympics athletes rode “shotgun” in the big rigs during the convoy, making a lasting impression on the Perdue drivers.
“I love it and they love it. The more you blow the horn, that makes the experience for them just that much better,” said Perdue driver Joe Benoist, who is based in Rockingham, North Carolina. “This event is good for Perdue, and it’s good to support the athletes. It’s something they don’t get to do very often, so we’re thrilled to be here and support them.”
For Perdue driver Ed “Crunch” Wright, the event has special meaning for he and his family as his brother participated in Special Olympics and attended the Benedictine School for Exceptional Children in Ridgley, Maryland.
“We’ve participated in Special Olympics for 40 years,” said Wright. “It means so much to me and my family. The athletes are just all smiles when they get to be up in the big truck and talk on the radio. They look forward to it all year long and so do we. One of the best things about working for Perdue is we get to do these types of events. It’s all voluntary. We get to come here and meet with the athletes and raise money for Special Olympics, and make sure that program can continue on.”
This year, Perdue continued its support of Special Olympics Delaware through sponsorship of the truck convoy with a $5,000 grant funded by the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Perdue Farms. Perdue also bid $5,000 in an auction to earn the No. 2 truck position in the convoy.
“We’re so proud to have a company like Perdue, who has such a broad family based, quality reputation, that is willing to take the time, energy and commitment to be out front in the community like this,” said Ann Grunert, executive director of Special Olympics Delaware. “Having Perdue and its drivers be a part of this really makes a difference in telling the community our athletes matter. The support of the entire trucking community continues to impress us.”
As Tim O’Hea, director of Perdue Transportation explained, “It is an honor for Perdue Transportation and its professional drivers to support Special Olympics at the World’s Largest Truck Convoy. It reflects our company commitment to give back to the community. Our drivers and associates who volunteer at the event look forward to this event each year and start planning for it months in advance.”