Truck Convoy Close to Special Olympics Athlete's Heart
Each year the Truck Convoy for Special Olympics brings together hundreds of amazing truckers from across the province to celebrate the accomplishments of Special Olympics athletes and raise much needed funds to keep the wheels turning on the year-round programming that allows them to succeed.
One of those athletes, who is itching to 'Return to Play' this year, is Luke Desaulniers. Luke is not only an athlete with Special Olympics, but along with his father, Dan, a truck driver for the past 13 years, he’s become a big part of the Truck Convoy as well.
This year, Dan and Luke will be the lead truck of the convoy, an honor they don’t take lightly.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current health and safety guidelines, the Truck Convoy organizing committee made the difficult decision to take the Convoy off the road for 2020 and go virtual. Upon hearing this, it didn’t sway the family's commitment to fundraising for athletes like their son. Instead, it inspired them to work harder to ensure the success of the event.
So why is the Truck Convoy so important to the Desaulniers family? Luke’s mom, Tracy, says the main reason is because it supports athletes like her son.
“It helps raise much needed funds for Luke and other children and adults that benefit from the amazing opportunities that Special Olympics provides to participate in sports,” she said. “Luke has always been intrigued with semi-trucks and his dad has been a driver for the past 13 years. As soon as we learned of the Convoy, we immediately approached Dan’s place of work and asked if they would sponsor Luke. We have continued to receive their support for many years, and hopefully many more years to come. We understand how important at fundraising is to continuing to support programming.”
The Truck Convoy raises funds for Special Olympics programming, but this year, all funds raised will go directly to helping our athletes Return to Play. It’s no secret that this pandemic has had an impact on the ability to provide programming for our athletes, and events like the Convoy are integral to getting things back up and running across the province. For Luke, it’s been hard to lose his weekly program and such an important part of his routine.
“Sports have been an outlet for Luke,” says Tracy. “Special Olympics has been an amazing opportunity for Luke to belong to a very special community. One where he feels like he belongs. We have been so grateful to be a part of Special Olympics. He misses being able to see his coaches, playing and competing with friends, and he misses just being involved in something.”
Luke is not alone; more than 1800 athletes across the province have been without their weekly programs since March, and most feel the isolation that comes with losing their community.
So how can you support Luke and other athletes like him 'Return to Play'?
You can donate to the Truck Convoy to help us reach our goal of raising $50,000 to help athletes like Luke ‘Return to Play’ this year. Head to www.manitobaconvoy.com. You can also donate directly to Luke’s campaign by clicking here.
And for anyone who wants to stay up to date with what’s going on with Luke, his mom invites you to follow his Facebook Page.
Tracy says they're all really looking forward to going back to Luke's weekly program and until then, they appreciate all of the support they've received these past few years.
"I have to say that we are surrounded by an amazing community filled with friends and family who are so supportive of our fundraising efforts," expressed Tracy. "There are so many people and businesses who continue to help us in many ways to fundraise every year. It wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of others and we are so grateful for our community."
To follow along with the Truck Convoy, make sure to follow the official Facebook Page. The event will take place virtually on September 19th and there is still plenty of time to donate or register to participate!