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Meet Charles from Irving Oil

Charles MacRae is an Irving Oil driver from Sydney Nova Scotia and first time participant of the Truck Convoy for Special Olympics.

He is the oldest of seven children who looked up to his father as a role model and someone he wanted to be just like.  “Dad was a truck driver in his early years and I wanted to be just like him”, says Charles.  So naturally a career in the field that his dad chose was his path.

His journey began 40 years ago when he entered the industry.  After a few jobs, he eventually settled into his role with Irving Oil where he has now been employed for 21 years.

“I had heard about the Truck Convoy previously, but didn’t think it was something I could be involved in.” Charles’s family has been long time volunteers with Special Olympics and he had often heard the many rewarding stories shared at gatherings and seen their pictures time and time again on social media.  “It wasn’t until I attended the Truck show in Moncton that I really began to dig deeper into what it really was.  I had seen the banner with the Irving Oil logo so I knew Irving was a part of it.”

Lured by the smell of fresh popcorn, Charles made his way over and spoke with Anne Marie Shannon from Special Olympics Nova Scotia.  Within a few minutes a connection was made and they realized that his sister Doreen and her husband Terry were mutual connections.  “I thought, why not give it a try”, said Charles.

The 2017 Truck Convoy was his first year participating.  He represented Irving Oil at their Mini Convoy held the day prior to take part in the parade and he also volunteered to take a child with Special needs in his truck.  Claire has Down Syndrome and she is usually quite shy and not great with noise.  As her mom waved goodbye to Claire as she stared her 6 km journey to the Enfield Big Stop, everyone could see the concern in her eyes.  Claire was wearing noise cancelling earphones and smiling ever so gently.  “She has never done anything like this before.  I am worried about what she is going to think and feel” says mom Laurie.

Everyone met Charles at the end of the convoy eagerly awaiting Clare to get out of her truck.  Within minutes she jumped out with a smile that brought her mom to tears.  “I know everything about her, she is quite the talker”, said Charles.

Fear and concern turned to joy and celebration as everyone joined in a great milestone for Clare.

Charles then participated in the Truck Convoy for Special Olympics the next day with his Trucker Buddy Miguel.  Together they enjoyed 52 kms of conversation, waving and friendship.

To help end the day, Charles raised over $1000 that would go towards the $131,000 raised that day for Special Olympics.

“I was amazed as to how little effort it took on my part to make kids smile and in return it made me feel really good.”

To have a look back on last year’s event visit our FB page

Special Olympics is always looking for volunteers to help with their programs, events or even the Truck Convoy.  To learn more, visit their website at www.truckconvoyns.ca/register

Registration is now open for the 2018 Truck Convoy For Special Olympics!  Be like Charles…help put a smile on the face of a Special Olympics Nova Scotia athlete. 


Truck Convoy helps to support 2018 Team NS athletes

If you haven’t yet heard the exciting news, Nova Scotia is proud to be hosting the Special Olympics National Games in 2018. This will be our first time hosting National Games since 1994, which makes it a pretty huge deal. With lots to do before then, the anticipation is certainly raising.

Hosted at ST. FX University in Antigonish, Nova Scotian pride will be in full display as athletes from all around Canada unite to compete for a medal.  Team Nova Scotia is currently in the process of being selected. A whopping 108 local Nova Scotian athletes are set to attend the games next year who will be supported by 48 coaches and mission staff.

Given the significance of the occasion, fundraising demands to send 156 athletes and coaches to Nationals, as well as to host such a large Nation-wide event are high. This is where support from the Truck Convoy comes in. A large portion of your fundraising efforts and donations will go to supporting the athletes who have worked so hard to qualify. This means your donations will help send athletes, couches, and volunteers to National Games, as well as help provide the best in equipment, nutritional food, Team NS gear, etc.  Each and every donation, whether small or large, is important to Special Olympics Nova Scotia. With your help we can ensure we give our athletes and coaches the best experiences and opportunities possible.

To donate to the Truck Convoy and the Team Nova Scotia, please click here: https://www.truckconvoyns.ca/give/donate/

If you are a convoy driver and would like to collect pledges, please click here: https://www.truckconvoyns.ca/drive/collect-pledges/

Every little helps! We appreciate your support


Driver Appreciation: Bill Dowe

The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the sun is – dare I say it – here to stay. Summer is officially here, which means the countdown begins for our Nova Scotia Truck Convoy for Special Olympics. Planning is well underway, and the drivers are lining up as each week goes by.

This year, to let our drivers know how much they mean to us, we will be doing driver appreciation profiles.

Que Bill Dowe – one of our awesome Truck Convoy drivers. From Amherst, this will be Bill’s third time participating in our Convoy, and he couldn’t be more excited. Bill started his career in trucking 41 years ago, doing line haul work for 17 years. After which he switched to aggregate hauling and excavation work. He joined the Truckers Association of Nova Scotia in 1993, where he became County President in 1994. In 1999, Bill was named Director of the Provincial Body. Since then he has served in various positions, leading to his current position, Director with the Board. He is also a board member of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce.

As an extremely active community member, Bill takes part in a multitude of community programs and events. He has helped the Amherst Special Olympics by donating his truck and trailer to participate in the towns Christmas parade for the last two years. Last September, Bill also co-hosted Amherst’s first every Truck Show and Shine, with proceeds going to the Amherst Special Olympics. He supports Early Intervention Nova Scotia, as well as local sports programs, and various charities mostly involving children and youth. Bill also won the 1st ever Darrell Ward Giving Back award at the 2016 Nova Scotia Truck Convoy.

Outside of his work, Bill enjoys boating, biking, and spending time with his two granddaughters – oh – and of course, trucks.

Bill will be in the Bill Dowe Trucking & Excavating truck on the day of the convoy – see you there.

Written by Shannon Gallagher