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Darrell Ward Memorial Tour to Benefit Special Olympics Truck Convoy

NEWS RELEASE – Immediate Release

September 7, 2016

Special Olympics honors the life of History Channel’s Ice Road Trucker and 2016 Convoy Marshal Darrell Ward with memorial Tribute Tour leading up to September 24th World’s Largest Truck Convoy presented by Irving Oil. Special guests slated to join in his memory.

Halifax (NS) – Special Olympics Nova Scotia is proud to celebrate five years of hosting this unique event that travels through the streets of Dartmouth. The convoy starts to roll at 10:15 AM on Saturday, September 24, from DND Shearwater. In a parade of almost 200 big rigs through Dartmouth, N.S. and raises funds for more than 1,700 athletes. Special Olympics Nova Scotia offers sports programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

“Let’s Get it Done”, Darrell Ward, Ice Road Truckers

Darrell Ward was slated to be in the Maritimes beginning on Wednesday, September 21st to help raise money for Special Olympics Truck Convoy on September 24th . Tragically he died on Sunday, August 28th in a plane crash.

“Travelling to Nova Scotia and being the Convoy Marshall for the 2016 Convoy for Special Olympics Nova Scotia was an important cause for Darrell. The day prior to his accident he and our team had a conversation about how excited he was to travel to Eastern Canada for his first time to meet his fans and the athletes. We knew that Darrell would want us to follow through on his commitment to his fans and this event. When we talked to our team, we weren’t surprised that everyone was on-board to make this tribute a success in his memory. Special thanks goes to Diesel Spec for their helping us bring this all together”, says Bob Stanton, Darrell Ward’s manager. TEAM Darrell Ward have many great things planned including a memorial banner, the Darrell Ward Giving Back Award and they have set up a pledge page for fans to donate to http://bit.ly/2c1D5At

The Darrell Ward Tribute Tour will feature his son Reno Ward Reno
(who was featured with Darrell in season 8), Shipping Wars Cast Marc Springer, Todd & Tamera Sturgis, Chrome and Steele Radio owner Bruce Lacasse, and Darrell’s manager Bob Stanton. Special guests from Diesel Spec will make an appearance at the convoy.


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Darrell Ward’s television career skyrocketed when he filmed a truck driving stunt on Montana’s Beartooth Pass in 2010. Since then, he has become a star and fan favorite of the History Channel’s TV show, Ice Road Truckers. With 35 years’ experience of extreme driving conditions, Darrell is a fearless and tireless driver who can conquer any load on any road. Holding the World’s Record for driving the longest ice road is just one of his many accomplishments. Darrell also regularly works alongside the United States Forestry Department in quenching forest fires, and routinely works in North Dakota performing environmental cleanups.

Darrell Ward Tribute Tour Schedule

Wednesday Sept 21st Moncton NB East Coast International  Trucks Open House 100 Urquhart Avenue from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. (general public is invited)
Thursday, Sept 22nd – Enfield NS Irving Big Stop 10:00 am -2:00 pm (Professional Drivers only)
Friday, Sept 23rd East Coast International Dartmouth NS 1 Morris Drive 11:00 am 1:00 pm (general public is invited)
Saturday, September 24th – World’s Largest Truck Convoy – Dartmouth NS (Registered participants only)

Participants can register for the convoy now by contacting Anne Marie Shannon at 1-866-299-2019 / (902) 429-2266 x 2 or emailing amshannon@sportnovascotia.ca or visiting our website at www.truckconvoyns.ca

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Established in 1979, the Nova Scotia chapter of this international movement is
dedicated to enriching the lives of Nova Scotian’s with an intellectual disability through
sport. The Special Olympics movement believes in supporting athletes both on and off the playing field. We are strong advocates for social change, healthy minds and bodies with a focus on building stronger communities using sport as a catalyst. Operating year-round in 15 Regions, this grassroots movement reaches beyond the sphere of sport with a united movement of over 150 weekly programs and 300 coaches. From two-year olds enrolled in Active Start to mature adults, there are more than 1700 children, youth, and adults with an intellectual disability registered in Special Olympics programs across Nova Scotia. For more information, visit www.specialolympicsns.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@SpecialONS).

Media Contacts:
Anne Marie Shannon
Director, Events and Communications
Special Olympics Nova Scotia
Bob Stanton, Manager Darrell Ward

FUNdraising Friday Champion Highlight

Armour Transport has been supporting the Truck Convoy since we began in 2012. Not only did they participate, one of their employees John Norris became a champion for the cause. He went above and beyond to make sure his company supported the event by backing the drivers, but also he was a strong advocate for our athletes. John always encouraged the drivers to participate at the best level they could – fundraising, participating and taking athletes in the truck with them if they were able. As you can see by the smile, it was a partnersjohn edward and athletehip our athletes certainly were proud of.


However, as things often do, a change was coming. John took a different role within the company, and that left a hole in our champion network. However, that would not deter John. This year he began his journey to once again find us a new company role model.
In Paula Wentzell he found just that! Paula participated in the convoy in 2014 raised a total of $806.00 to help support our athletes and had an amazing day with her trucker buddy Matt “I had such an amazing day when I participated in 2014. It was so much fun, and my athlete was a great joy to host”, says Paula.

Paula Wentzell Armour

Paula will now take the wheel to help lead Team Armour on the 5th anniversary event on September 24th in Dartmouth. While we know John’s heart will always be with us, and he continues to work from the shadows, we thank Paula for helping to raise money for her team and our athletes.

The top fundraising team has the honor of receiving a banner to display at their place of work, and the honor of following behind the lead truck and our sponsors in the convoy as well as some great incentives for the drivers.

We have big dreams for our athletes and their future. This event is helping us to make them a reality. Learn more about Special Olympics.

When the Red, White and Blue are friendly

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?

HRP & DND Police
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.”

Vehicle Compliance 1

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 RCMP and athleteus on September 24th as we celebrate 5 years of partnerships and the impact the trucking industry has had on our athletes.

Register, volunteer, wave or watch.


Be a part of the excitement.