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Truckies: 'Let's find that cure'

Townsville Convoy for Kids. Fumes above these Macks.
Townsville Convoy for Kids. Fumes above these Macks. Alf Wilson

A RECORD 190 trucks participated in the 4TOFM Townsville Convoy for a Cure that raised more than $90,000 for kids with cancer.

They travelled along a 28 km route through the north Queensland capital on May 20, creating an atmosphere which was electric.

An estimated 10,000 men, women and children lined the streets to wave and support them and in return many of the truck drivers honked their horns.

The Small Fleet award for the convoy went to Townsville Hydrovac, while Followmont took out the large fleet prize, and Long Pocket Earthmoving paid $20,087.02 to have the lead convoy truck.

It was a Mack Valueliner which turned heads of spectators both during the Convoy and later on.

"This was a change of scenery for the Red Mack which usually tows a low loader with its main item of freight being earthmoving gear and cane harvesters,” Elisha Roveglia, from Long Pocket Earthmoving, told Big Rigs.

"This was the second year our 'Pride of the Pocket' has participated in the Convoy.

"With no other reason than knowing we are contributing to a wonderful cause, our Mack makes the trek from Ingham to Townsville.

"Long Pocket Earthmoving and the extremely generous Ingham community managed to raise in excess of a whopping $20,000 for this magnificent cause, taking out Lead Truck for the Convoy.

"What a great experience for our drivers Robert and Blair to be front of the pack. Why do we do it? Put simply, we love trucks! Trucks have been in our family all our life.

"Participating in Convoy for The Cure is a great feeling, knowing you are giving something back to those families that aren't so fortunate.

"It's not until you have kids of your own that you realise how amazing this charity really is. Let's find that cure.”

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Trucks had gathered at a marshalling area along Webb Drive at the Bohle suburb from 7.45am such was the popularity of the annual event.

The convoy started at 9am, led by the police escorts and then motorbikes.

The trucks followed and drove along Ingham Road, into Duckworth Street, Woolcock Street, Charters Towers Road, Ross River Road and Riverway Drive.

Some of the trucks had sick kids as passengers.

The length of the convoy was about 4km and thousands of listeners to radio station 4TO were treated to live crosses along the route to hear where the lead trucks were.

One of the participants was State Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper.

Drivers, their family and friends and many others then attended a family morning at Ross Park near the Dam in the suburb of Kelso.

This year's event, entitled "Convoy For The Cure”, raised funds for research into paediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma or DIPG, a deadly and aggressive form of brain tumour.

It was held by the organisation The Cure Starts Now, which was founded by local Ren Pedersen after his nine-year-old daughter died of the disease in 2009.

Townsville Convoy for Kids. Trucks in the convoy.
Townsville Convoy for Kids. Trucks in the convoy. Alf Wilson

"The support the truck companies and drivers s have given us is just fantastic,” Mr Pedersen said.

I snapped pics along the route and saw hundred of youngsters sitting on the roofs of 4WD vehicles to get a better view.

It was encouraging to see entire families watching the trucks cruise by.

At the parking area a big crowd congregated and the awards were presented by MC's Minty from Radio 4TO and sponsor as well as event co-ordinator Todd Martin.

The winning companies drove their trucks past the stage as hundreds looked on.

Legendary 4TO FM breakfast radio announcer Steve "Pricey” Price was there and gave the event the thumbs up.

Police Constable Lyndsey Askew and Snr Sgt Paul Taylor from the traffic branch were busy at Ross Park showing adults and many children a flashy patrol car.

Many of the truckies and companies had been part of convoys in previous years and there were some new ones as well.

In fact companies and drivers from Ingham (110km north of Townsville) and the Burdekin (88km south) were there.

The convoy is increasing in popularity and last year 160 trucks took part.

Big Rigs