Making Wishes Come True
Despite suffering from cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung disease, Mandy, a slight 16-year old with a confidence that belied her age, belted out the national anthem to kick off the Wishes on Wheels truck convoy.
Before she wowed the crowd of hundreds gathered at the FedEx Ground Hartford hub with her amazing voice, she explained how as a Make-A-Wish kid (her dream is to meet Ellen DeGeneres), the Wishes on Wheels event “fills her heart with joy.”
Standing proudly behind her with a bright smile and tears in his eyes was Keith Herzig, owner of Herzig Hauling, LLC, who contracts for FedEx Ground. Keith, with the help of FedEx Express driver Roland Bolduc, Mike Nardone, FedEx Ground regional linehaul maintenance manager and many others who are responsible for the massive fundraising event. The charity raises funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut, which makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Celebrating its tenth year, the convoy brought together all types of trucks – a line-up reminiscent of a children’s book “Cars and Trucks and Things That Go” penned by Richard Scary – fire trucks, ice cream trucks, dump trucks, FedEx Express vans, FedEx Ground tractors and many others.
Children picked the truck they wanted to ride in for the 35-mile journey on I-84 in Connecticut. Along the trek, groups of spectators gathered along the highway, many waiting in lawn chairs for the convoy to pass. Others stood on overpasses where they hung large banners thanking the truck drivers for their support of the Make-A-Wish foundation.
After the convoy, the trucks returned to the hub, where both youngsters and adults spent an afternoon enjoying a number of activities including watching the Thrasher Monster Truck show and getting an up close look at the FedEx #11Camry Showcar.
This year, the convoy beat last year’s record of 470 trucks and while, the fundraising total is not final, last year, Keith and company were able to make a donation of $90,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
While the money is critical to fulfill wishes, Keith is most passionate about bringing happiness and joy to the children. “Our mission is to raise money to grant the wishes of these courageous children, to raise awareness of this great charity Make-A-Wish and most important to have fun,” noted Keith. “A family thanked me for allowing their child to feel like a child for one day, forgetting the illness that he was fighting,” said Keith.
To Keith, that alone is worth it.
Caption: Trevor gets a ride with Ric Snead, Joe Gibbs Racing