The MAW Truck Convoy has sponsored total of five wishes this year for the Wisconsin Make-A-Wish Foundation, which gives special gifts for children facing a critical illness.
Thanks to the fundraiser, Make-A-Wish was able to grant 16 year-old Logan of Neillsville a trip to Fiji; 6 year-old Simon of Chili a pond makeover; 4 year-old Lincoln of Loyal a camper; 7 year-old Kian of Wisconsin Rapids and 9 year-old Cody of Neillsville a trip to Disney World.
It was the best year in its 21-year history, said founding organizer Punk Montgomery. In June, the convoy attracted a record of 119 vehicles which start in Neillsville, route through Marshfield, and then back to the Clark County Fairgrounds for a silent auction.
Montgomery and her daughter work on two other events: a Make-A-Wish movie night in Neillsville in July and a hamburger stand at the Chili Street Dance. Altogether, the total raised this year was $24,721. The Truck Convoy has sponsored 60 wishes over the years.
The idea for the convoy started when Montgomery’s husband went to one in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “He got hooked on it, came home and said ‘we can do this!’” she said. Two years later, the Truck Convoy began with five trucks and quickly grew. After a few years of steady attendance, the participation picked up for a record year in 2018.
The fundraiser shows no sign of slowing down. “We’ll definitely do it until we can’t physically do it anymore,” said Montgomery. Her husband always leads the truck convoy, and together participants drive and honk their way past spectators.
They appreciate all the help and support from the community.
“Anybody can help us, anybody can support us, anybody can participate – even if it’s a dollar,” Montgomery said. “If everybody would just give a $1, look what that would add up to.”
There will be another opportunity to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation this weekend at “Witches for Wishes” on Saturday, October 20. The 2-mile run/walk will be held at Stratford Heritage Trail at 505 Parkview Drive. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with a kids’ fun run at 9:15, and a 2 mile run/walk at 9:30 a.m. The cost is $20 for ages 9 and up and $10 ages 1-8 for the fun run.