Sometimes I have to take a step back from the high end old cars that I spend a fair amount of time around and remember what makes them so special. The main ingredient I have found is the passion people have, whether it's hot rods, customs, drag cars, concours, or in the case of this story, trucks.
On February 21 I attended an event put on by 519 TRUCKS, with the assistance of 519 Country and the Knights of Columbus. The purpose of the event was to raise money to buy a uniquely equipped truck for a young man by the name of Sawyer Harding, who has been dealing with Spina Bifida since birth and is unable to walk.
I heard about this event through 519 TRUCKS, a Facebook group of over 11,000 truck enthusiasts from the 519 area code in Ontario. The group was created by James Hope in April of 2014 because he wanted to sell some rims and tires, and couldn't find a local buy and sell group that attracted people willing to give him what they were worth.
I have attended 1 event in the past, which was created solely by 519 TRUCKS, and was quite impressed, but that one was in the summer, what happens in the winter?
As I arrived at the facility in Waterloo, which was donated by th Knights of Columbus, I saw a truck clearing the parking lot of snow, but I'm not sure why, it was a truck event after all.
Walking in, I saw many more raffle draws and silent auction items than I expected, from a gorgeous wooden coffee table, to a set of bumpers that would be custom-built to the truck of the highest bidder.
When all was sold and the event was finished, the total for the day was approximately $9,400, and that, combined with the funds raised online, brought the total to just over $12,000.
All of the money raised is going towards a truck with special equipment to allow Sawyer to gain independence and be able to drive himself around. Sawyer remains active with sledge hockey, and from what I saw, his friends will be happy to see more of him as well. His personality begs to be let out, and it shows. The speakers and lights mounted on the bottom of his wheelchair announce his presence wherever he goes, and a friendly shove will remind his friends in case they missed his arrival. I'm excited to see what he does with the 2008 Chevrolet Silverado that has been purchased for him. The truck already comes with a 2" leveling kit and 33" tires, as well as the necessary upgrades to help Sawyer drive and to get in and out of the truck.
I can see myself meeting up with these guys in 30 years and possibly making the comparison of 519 TRUCKS to a lot of the car clubs I'm meeting right now, and while these enthusiasts aren't all about drag racing, hot rods, customs, or concours, the passion is still the same. I'm realizing more and more about my generation. When we come together with a common passion we can achieve a great deal.