And while a large team of 18-wheelers can often be an intimidating sight, this particular convoy will be taking to the road for a good cause — to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Beginning at 2 p.m., the Truckers Parade Against Cancer will leave Grayson County High School in Independence as a convoy of trucks will travel east on U.S. 58 at parade speed until reaching Carroll County High School at approximately 2:58 p.m. Cindy Dixon, the local chairman of the Truckers Parade Against Cancer, said the convoy for a good cause is an awesome sight to behold.
“This whole event is an event to raise money for the American Cancer Society and the very first year we did this we had 46 trucks participate, which was an awesome turnout,” Dixon said. “Anybody that has talked to me that saw the event said it was such an emotional thing to see those trucks come through in a convoy at parade speed, blowing their horns in memory of the cancer survivors. It is unreal to see this thing.”
This Sept. 12 Truckers Parade Against Cancer will be the third annual event held in the Twin Counties. Dixon said funds raised from the event will be split evenly between the Galax/Carroll Relay for Life and Grayson County Relay for Life arms of the American Cancer Society. Dixon said sky-high fuel prices made for a low turnout last year, but in the previous two years the event has raised over $10,000 for the local Relay for Life organizations. As an example, Dixon said HilI’s Trucking always leads the parade with a purple truck (Relay for Life’s color) in memory of Horace Hill. She said everyone is invited to take part in this event, whether you are a trucker or not.
“We’re asking people to sponsor trucks, 18-wheelers or EMS vehicles to be in our parade, and the sponsorship on those trucks will be in memory of someone who has passed away from cancer or in honor of someone who has survived, sort of like our (Relay for Life) luminaries. Each truck will have a banner across the grill or truck in memory or in honor of that person,” Dixon said. “Families can get together and raise money and call me if they want to sponsor a truck for a family member. If they don’t have a truck to put in there, we will solicit to get trucks for them. The cost is $100.”
While the parade is set to start at Grayson County High School at 2 p.m., there will be festivities at the Independence school from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day. Trucks will be at the high school at 11 that morning, where there will also be a display truck show. Trophies will be given away this year for the truck show. Music is also planned and Dixon said organizers will be feeding the truck drivers and one guest. Barbecue will be for sale for other folks who want to come and join in on the fun.
“We’ll start putting banners on trucks between 11 and 2 and we’ll have entertainment and give out some door prizes. We want people to come join us at the high school that morning,” Dixon said, “and we would also like people along the truck route on 58 to support the truck drivers as they come through.”
In order to get banners made for the trucks in time for the parade, Dixon said she’d like to set a deadline of Labor Day Weekend for folks to let her know if they are interesting in entering the parade.
“We don’t need the money by then, but we do need the banners made,” Dixon said. “They can call me at (276) 237-1414 or e-mail me at email@example.com.”
Dixon said the Truckers Parade Against Cancer started in Charlotte County, Virginia after a family of truck drivers decide it would be a great way to raise money as a Relay for Life team. That particular Truckers Parade is in its ninth year and has raised approximately $200,000 for the American Cancer Society. It has also since grown to other communities such as ours, Dixon said.
“It is kind of like a reunion for the truck drivers and a way for the drivers and community to come together and support the American Cancer Society,” Dixon said. “It also shows the truck drivers are out there doing the right thing to help find a cure for cancer, which is ultimately what our goal is.”
With the Town of Hillsville’s Downtown Celebration featuring The Embers that evening, Dixon hoped folks would come to Hillsville to see the completion of the parade and stick around for the activities in town later that evening. Dixon said the event has been approved by the Virginia Highway Department and will be coordinated with help from the local police and sheriff’s departments.
“We are so appreciative of all the help we do get for this event, plus our relay teams come together to do all the work,” Dixon said. “Cancer touches so many lives, we just need to try to put a stop to it. The research that comes through the money we raise saves 90 lives everyday through the cures that have been found and the preventive medicines.”
Estimated Route Times for The Truckers Parade Against Cancer
2 p.m. — Leave Grayson County High School
2:05 p.m. — Grayson Express
2:10 p.m. — New River Bridge
2:13 p.m. — Baywood Store Rd.
2:17 p.m. — 58 Grocery
2:18 p.m. — Baywood Market & Deli
2:22 p.m. — Galax City Limits
2:25 p.m. — Galax Main Street
2:26 p.m. — Subway/Aaron’s
2:28 p.m. — Elks Lodge
2:29 p.m. — Pizza Hut
2:33 p.m. — BP/Crossroads Building
2:35 p.m. — Lowe’s Hardware
2:38 p.m. — DMV
2:41 p.m. — Blood Bought Church
2:44 p.m. — Harmons Western Store
2:46 p.m. — Battery Mart/Pathway
2:49 p.m. — McDonald’s
2:53 p.m. — CVS
2:55 p.m. — Hillsville Main Street
2:58 p.m. — Carroll County High School
Merchants have given permission for spectators to be on properties and all should respect the merchants business schedule and be sure not to block their customers nor leave trash in their lots, etc.