Many of the convoy family in Nova Scotia know him by name – Leonard Wilson (or Lennie as we call him) and the proud truck he drives for TDR Transportation out of Halifax. Lennie makes a daily trek down the South Shore of Nova Scotia everyday with his rig – White Lightening. For Lennie, his job and his truck are two of his great passions in life.
Last year when he had the opportunity to combine them both to earn lead truck was one of his career highlights. Tremendous efforts were put into doing the best he could to help out the athletes of Nova Scotia. Earning the Lead Truck banner was just a perk to doing what he thought was a good thing for his community and a population that is very dear to him.
Lennie keeps in touch with Special Olympics all year long. We love hearing his stories and following him and White Lightning on their journey. So, when he messaged us about something this past fall, we knew we wanted to share it with our audience, because fostering relationships is what we do.
Lenny and White Lightening were making their way along their daily route when suddenly the red and blue were flashing in his mirrors. “ White Lightening – what the heck? We aren’t doing anything wrong.” Within seconds they were pulled over on the side of the road as Lennie was searching for all his papers saying a few words under his breath about being stopped on his daily trek. As most can relate, any time the lights flash and you have to pull over, it is not usually because they want to say “Hi”.
Well this day it was.
The Officer who pulled him over wanted nothing more than to shake his hand and meet him. “ The infamous Lennie! I have seen you on the road several times throughout the past few months and today I had the opportunity to pull you over. I wanted to just say congratulations on your efforts with the Truck Convoy last year. What you are doing to help the industry and the athletes is amazing” He then checked his papers and waved him goodbye wishing him well on his journey.
Managing almost 200 trucks on some of the busiest roads in your city doesn’t come without challenges. In reviewing the route last year, there were over 100 identified intersections or cross roads to manage during the three hour drive through Dartmouth. With careful planning over several months that involved the lead traffic control team from Halifax Regional Police, the RCMP and Vehicle Compliance, our Nova Scotia Provincial Law Enforcement Director pulled out all the stops with the NS Chiefs of Police to enlist as much volunteer support they could to make the 2015 Big Rigs, Big Hearts, Big Results convoy our best yet. Our thanks to officers from New Glasgow, Kentville, Truro, Cape Breton and DND Military Police who’s volunteerism also made the event possible.
What do our Law Enforcement Partners think about being involved?
Superintendent Robin McNeil of the Halifax Regional Police (also a provincial Special Olympics Nova Scotia Board Member) says “The Truck Convoy is an amazing event for our officers to support. The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) as a worldwide movement is engaged to empower our athletes in a meaningful and transformative way. Similarly, the trucking industry, drivers of big rigs with big hearts who play a vital role in our economy, and they are a great partner coming together in such a visual way to support Special Olympics.”
Jayson Gay, Motor Vehicle Officer, Vehicle Compliance, says this “When the convoy first started, I said we need to be a part of this! The Special Olympics is very near and dear to my heart and I have been a part of the convoy since it began. The woman and men of the Department of Transportation come together with LETR group to support the cause by way of ensuring the convoy has safe travels. I see many industry professionals before the convoy event and they always ask, “you coming again this year?” This is a great opportunity to meet, talk, ask questions and get to know each other on a more personal level and best of all, to work together for a truly worthwhile cause.”
For our spectators along the route who witnessed the flashing of the red and blue leading the convoy, or safely blocking the intersections, as well as the motorist we encounter, we know everyone is thankful for their efforts. On this day, we are all friends, all working together for a greater good – our community and the many things we do to make it great. So this year when you pull into the convoy and are greeted by our friends from the broad LETR community – give them a friendly “Hi”, because on September 24th there are not colors or uniforms – just friends.
Join us on September 24th as we celebrate 5 years of partnerships and the impact the trucking industry has had on our athletes.
Be a part of the excitement.