By George Fullerton
Southern New Brunswick got rain on August 19th following a very dry summer which resulted in lowering water tables and parched crops, forests and lawns. The weather event rained on the Convoy of Hope-Atlantic parade, but did little to dampen the enthusiasm of participants, volunteers and public who all came out to support this very important event to support cancer research.
Jo-Anne Phillips and a group of key volunteers organized the Convoy, in addition to a number of fund raising events through the year. This year’s Convoy registered fifty trucks, and those drivers had collected some $8,000 in pledges to the cause. The theme for the 2017 Convoy Atlantic was ‘Drive out Cancer, One Truck at a Time’.
The highest pledge collector was Armour Transport driver John Chambers at $857, followed by second place, also Armour driver, Susie De Ridder bringing in $700. Third place pledge gatherer was Sheila Williams at $640 of Nova Trucks.
The day got underway at 8:00 AM with first trucks arriving for registration and truck decorating, as well as truck judging by a group of attending cancer survivors; Dianne, Gino, Heather and Carol. The Convoy set off at 11:00 AM with the fifty trucks and three fire trucks, two RCMP units and an ambulance. Some twenty-four members of the Hillsborough Legion Riders motorcycle club added their support by providing key traffic control and other tasks.
The route traveled from the Salisbury Big Stop on the Trans-Canada Highway to the Berry Mills exit and on to Killam Drive, then looping through the centre of Moncton and eventually parking at the Moncton Coliseum. The decorated trucks invited viewer (public) judging of the trucks. Susie De Ridder, who was judged the Best Decorated Truck at the Big Stop, also took the Viewer Choice award.
Once all trucks were arrived and orderly parked in the Coliseum parking lot, the social activities continued with a BBQ manned and supported by Bank of Nova Scotia staff (generated more than $5K), live music with ’18 Again,’ speeches, silent and live auctions, and raffle draws – all activities supporting cancer research.
The big raffle prize, a $6,000 travel voucher, was won by Karen White, of Coldbrook, Nova Scotia.
Major sponsors for 2017 included Jeramand Trucking, Universal Sales, Midland Transport, UNI, Never Enuff Chrome, Elite Fleet, East Coast International, Irving 24, The Gear, Action Truck Accessories, Bistro 33, Murray’s Irving Truck Stop, Cummins and Bank of Nova Scotia.
Guest speakers who shared their thanks and appreciation for the Convoy event included Gillian Zink Breast/Canadian Cancer Society, Stacy Grieve, PhD representing Dr. Reiman’s Cancer Research Lab, Councillor John Coughlan – City of Riverview and Ellen Townsend – Prostate Cancer Atlantic.
While the Convoy day is the big event, Jo-Anne and her crew continue with fund raising. Jo-Anne explained, “There are a few more sponsor cheques to receive from friends, family and corporations, and we should have final numbers by the end of November. Following our wine cozy sales at the World Food and Wine Festival (in Moncton), we are hopeful that about $30,000 will have been raised this year, through the Convoy-Atlantic events.”
Jo-Anne Phillips makes an amazing effort to organize and works tirelessly to raise funds for cancer research through Convoy Atlantic, as well as lending her support to other important social causes in her community. In 2016 the Transportation Club of Moncton honoured Jo-Anne with their Humanitarian Award. In May of 2017 Jo-Anne showed just how deep her humanitarian qualities lie by donating one of her kidneys to her friend and co-worker Shelly Melanson.
Both Shelly and Jo-Anne looked great, sounded wonderful and worked full out the entire Convoy event. Way to go ladies, and to the team!
Convoy for Hope-Atlantic is one of five Convoys held in North America, to raise funds for Cancer research. Each individual Convoy is an opportunity for truckers and the trucking industry, their associates and customers to help their community raise funds for cancer research. The Atlantic Convoy became established in 2012 and the route extended from Salisbury Big Stop to the Aulac Big Stop near the Nova Scotia border.
The Moncton Convoy for a Cure in 2009 and 2010 was spearheaded by Caroline Wood and Roxanne Doran Smith and it was specifically to raise funds for breast cancer research. Unfortunately, no organizers stepped up to organize a Convoy for the 2011 year.
In 2012, Jo-Anne Phillips helped bring together a committee including Carol Mason, Shelia Williams, Lionel Clark, Jim Campbell and Tracey Sherwood to lead the efforts for the third convoy. The raised funds were directed to research for colon, lung, prostate and breast cancer, in Atlantic Canada.
Jo-Anne’s team mustered more than forty-five trucks for the 2012 Convoy, raising in excess of $25,000 for research and education programs.
For the 2013 Convoy, Jo-Anne, Tracey and Carol led the organizing and invested a good deal of time selling tickets on a Harley motorcycle. The convoy welcomed more than twenty trucks and generated a grand total of $20,000.
The 2014 Convoy gained the support of Charlie Taylor on the organizing team and despite the shadow of the RCMP officer killings in June that year, the Convoy went ahead with twenty-three trucks and netting $24,000.
The 2016 Convoy enjoyed a new route through the streets of Moncton rendezvousing at the Moncton Coliseum parking lot where festivities, truck judging and live music entertained a large number of supporters, including many Moncton residents. The new route and dedicated sponsors helped increase the Convoy to seventy-three trucks.
Canadian Cancer Society
About half of cancers can be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect the health of Canadians. Screening tests help find cancer before you have any symptoms and even help prevent cancer by finding changes in your body that would become cancer if left untreated. With your support, we’re getting these life-changing messages to more Canadians, go to this link.
Thanks to Canadians supporting research, since the 1940s Canadians’ 5-year survival rate has increased from 25% to more than 60%.
Prostate Cancer: The death rate has been declining significantly by an average of 3.3%/year since 2001 from improved testing for PC and better treatment options.
Breast Cancer: Between 1990 – 2015 mortality rates declined over 27%.
Colon Cancer: Due to increased screening mortality rates for males have been decreasing since 2004, and since 1992 for females.
Lung Cancer: The death rate from Lung Cancer has declined steadily over the past 2 decades; between 1991 – 2012 the rate for Men and women combined fell by more than 23%.☚