Truckers parade continues tradition

Published 8:30 am Thursday, October 13, 2022

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Citizens lined sidewalks and roadsides to watch as 226 trucks took part in the annual Trucker’s Parade Against Cancer (TPAC) on Saturday, Oct. 8.

The event has raised over $1.4 million over the last 20 years to fund research for new and improved cancer treatments, support cancer patients and efforts to demand better coverage of cancer fighting drugs and treatments through insurance and government support.

Event organizer Sheila Jones said total funds raised are still being tallied from this year’s event.

“Those truckers make this event possible by contributing their time and money to fight for the cure,” Jones said. “It is hard to explain the feeling in the air when you witness just how many lives have been touched by this disease,” Jones said “Each truck carries a banner in honor of, or in memory of, someone affected by this disease.”

Those who participated in the event left Central Middle School in Charlotte Court House to travel from Charlotte Court House on Route 40 to Drakes Branch on route 47 to Keysville on route 59 and down King Street and ended at Southside Virginia Community College.

According to the organization’s website, Jones participated in Relay for Life and other team fundraisers for several years before TPAC was born. She felt as though the regular fundraisers were not bringing in enough money for the cause.

She began to brainstorm with her husband, Darrin, about other options and alternatives to the average fundraisers. The Jones family had several ties in the trucking occupation. Not only was Darrin a truck driver, but his family consisted of a trucking company’s co-owners, a truck salesman and a truck repair shop owner.

The first TPAC debuted in 2000, according to the website.