The 18th Annual
Northeast Professional Truck
A professional truck driving skills competition to benefit the Kids at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
September 20, 2016
You can download a copy of written test and answer key along with the pre-trip list of defects available at the FORMS tab. The Program Book is also available.
What an amazing weekend for the 18th Charity Challenge at Devens Massachusetts. 90 drivers, families and friends participated in another successful event! This year the Charity Challenge topped the scales at $37,500! After all expenses are paid the Northeast Professional Truck Drivers Association will proudly send approximately $25,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This year we have crossed the $600,000 milestone: our 18 years of fundraising has reached $610,000.
Our good friend and fellow
driver Lowell Crouse passed away just before the Charity Challenge. Lowell
was a member of the Charity Challenge Committee, a champion truck driver and
a long time contributor to St Jude. He raised over $20,000 for St Jude over
the 17 years not counting his personal contributions. His family requested
donations, in lieu of flowers, to St Jude in Lowell’s honor. As of today,
approximately $500 has been donated in his honor. I will keep the link open
through the end of September. If you wish to make a donation in Lowell’s
name to St Jude through the Charity Challenge, please click on the following
The five top drivers, Kenny & Terry Meyer, John & Desiree Brown, Kip Lyman, Joe Barone & Fred Schenk fundraised an astounding $12,100, topping a driver fundraising effort of $22,500. An incredible effort for all involved.
Congratulations to all the trophy winners. The competition was tough and in many cases the winners were decided by the tie breaker. Ken Duncan, Walmart Transportation (ME), not only took the Rookie-of-the-Year (first time CC contestant) trophy, the Flatbed Class Top Score, and also the Grand Champion Trophy, no small feat with this group of professional drivers!
If you were a returning driver, thank you for your continued support and participation. If this was your first time, we hope it exceeded your expectations and look forward to your participation in the future. Of the hundreds of drivers that have participated since 1997, only 3 (non-committee) drivers have attended every event: Karen Tierney, Ralph Mauro & Bruce Rogers!!
Our 40 company partners donated just over $12,000 in cash in addition to merchandise, food certificates and most importantly, the use of their equipment. From the website, click on the “Companies” tab to view the list of participating companies. Note the amount of years each has been involved in the Charity Challenge with monetary donations, equipment and merchandise.
Thanks to Kyle Dooley and Nicole Bonica, our St Jude Reps for all of the work behind the scenes this year securing all the insurance and legal documents needed for an event of this magnitude. A real pleasure to work with both of you. Without the sight we don’t have an event. Thanks to Kim Walsh at Devens Recreation (MassDevelopment) and to Gary Crossen at New England Studios for the generous use of the parking lots.
The only way this Charity Challenge could work and has worked since 1997 is because of the incredible dedications of our committee and volunteers. Many of us are lifelong friends because of a chance meeting at a state or national competition many years ago. We are all committed to safe driving, being the best representatives of the trucking industry and giving back to the community, and in this case a special research hospital that does so much to fight childhood diseases.
So many people helped out on Sunday it would be impossible to list. Drivers that competed also helped on the course. Wives were helping with the kids’ activities and food and raffle area. So many people asked if they could help out. What a great feeling.
Without the army behind the scenes no event like this could happen.
From Massachusetts: Massachusetts Professional Truck Drivers Assoc, My co-chairman Bob Darling – tons of time during the year spent on anything and everything. Nicholas Schenk setting up the web site and online registration in addition to the Program Book. Doug Francey working most of the summer lining up equipment from the many companies involved. Jim “what do you need me to do” Dolliver again on the microphone for the day and also set up the Leatherneck Honors Society of MA to bring in the colors. Cathy Albanese sang America the Beautiful and the National Anthem, Charlie Fleurant gave the invocation all during a nasty wind and rain storm. Mike, Esther and David Milyaro – food procurement and delivery, Don Herzog – the Charity Challenge treasurer, Sandy Herzog and Debbie Schenk verifying all donations, Ed Bacon – No end to the jobs Ed takes on – course set up, judging, cutting acres of grass in the parking lots the week before to get things ready for Sunday, helped out this year by Don Herzog, Nick Schenk and Fred Schenk. Dave Steele, FedEx, procured another huge donation from FedEx, Billy Darling – ready to do any task this weekend. Doug, Rickie, Bubba and JB taking care of the equipment area, keeping the line moving. Karen Tierney worked as Den Mother again this year. Candy Darling and crew keeping the kids occupied all day with face painting, t-shirt designs, games, magician and artist. Ed Bacon secured the dumpster from EL Harvey again this year. EL Harvey covered the delivery and tipping fee. Thanks to Paul Attridge and Kathy Redmond at Deland Gibson for securing the truck insurance.
From Maine: Maine Professional Drivers Assoc, Denis Litalien – trophy procurement, a job that starts many weeks before Sunday, working with Roger and Vic at R&W Trophies. Impeccable attention to every detail to make sure the trophies were just right. Denis is always ready for any job that needs attention and in for a full weekend setting everything up for registration along with his wife Debbie, Warren and Claudette Lewis – working the registration, raffle, written test, Randy and Ginny DeVault – doing anything and everything that needed doing last weekend. The office trailer was compliments of Randy and the Maine Motor Transportation assoc., Rob Fernald – Procuring the food from Walmart, had the whole family helping with the food tent set up on Saturday and keeps the Charity Challenge Facebook page current.
From New Hampshire: New Hampshire Professional Drivers Assoc, Mickey and Linda Rafeal – always there and always ready to help – registration, raffle, course, anything. George and Tara Orchard – George – secured large donation from Walmart, trucks for the event, raffle items, bike competition – a weekend full of work. His wife Tara working the raffle among with Laurie Desmarais. Richard Desmarais and George working with the crew on Saturday, making sure all the signage was installed and then collected after the event. Paul Robichaud and crew set up and ran the Step Van Couse this year in Dave Steele’s absence.
From Connecticut: Members of the Connecticut Professional Drivers Assoc, Jim Hosey and Tim Carlin again making the trip for Saturday and Sunday to set up and judge the course. Jim’s wife needs around the clock care but he was here Saturday, headed back to CT Saturday night and returned on Sunday, total commitment to making sure this event was first class. This year John and Desiree Brown took over and set up and ran the pre-trip inspection assisted by Billy Darling. Tony Spero and Paul Brandon again ran the Non CDL course. Many participants including our St Jude rep, Kyle Dooley. CT’s Wally Crean was our official starter. Roland Bolduc was our Master of Ceremony and he also step in to announce when Jim needed a break.
From New York: Champions Council of New York members again taking care of the food tent. Kip & Scott Lyman, Pete & Cynthia Mesick with help behind the counter that I did not recognize. Again people stepping up to help where they were needed. Coffee was on long before I arrived at 5:30 on Sunday.
The equipment procurement is a huge part of this event. Without the generosity of the companies, this event does not happen. Thanks to Dan Lacroix at Regency not only for the use of equipment but shagging the MPTDA equipment trailer in North Andover and agreeing to inspect and PM the unit! Dave Steele and FedEx Express delivering two units and the step van, JB Baer working out the flatbed with Eagle Leasing. YRC Northeast Safety, John Ringwood supplying the set of pups delivered by Neil Nogues (NH). Walmart again supplying the sleeper unit and reefer for the food delivered by Robbie Fernald (ME). John Hoffman brought the Sysco 3 Axle unit. Doug Francey, Atlantic Plant Maintenance, brought the straight truck. J&S Transport supplied the tanker, delivered by Bob Bryson. Dominos showed up with the sleeper and 48-foot reefer, nicely logoed by the way with “Dave Misenheimer – Dominos National Champion”. Denis Litalien supplied the CWP/Shaws unit and Mike Milyaro delivered the CWP/Shaws automatic and 40’ trailer for the Non CDL course. Brian Singelais drove the Frito Lay unit, loaded with donated chips and cookies! Tony Spero stopped by ABF Freight on his way up from CT and picked up the set of pups in Shrewsbury. Jack Sylvia not only delivered the Dump trailer from G. Lopes Construction, but secured their sponsorship of the class. And the best donated equipment of all was Randy DeVault’s Maine Motor Transportation Assoc. classroom trailer for the office! Nice!
On top of all this the many drivers, wives and volunteers that helped on the course, the food area and kids’ area. Thank you to all the people that brought items for the raffle. The tables were full! Thanks to Mickey Rafeal and Randy Cowles for securing all the raffle items from Tru-Value. Karen the bench was a hit again this year.
In closing, this event would never work if it was not for the commitment of time and effort of everyone involved. When everyone does a piece it all adds up to successful long term event. It has been a pleasure to work with all of you over the years on the Charity Challenge. I look forward to many more successful events. It is the one time during the year when you can look forward to seeing fellow drivers and friends from all over the Northeast that you might lose touch with if not for your commitment to help and participate on the weekend after Labor Day each year. The Charity Challenge has always been a word of mouth event. Pass it along! Please consider a donation in Lowell's' name. No donation is too small or large.
From the Competition Committee and the staff at ALSAC/St Jude, Thank You!!
The annual Northeast Professional Truck Drivers Charity Challenge is sponsored by the following organizations from across the Northeast region of the country. Their efforts continue to make this a successful event each year.
Massachusetts Professional Truck Drivers Association
Maine Professional Drivers Association
Champions Council of New York
Connecticut Professional Drivers Association
New Hampshire Professional Drivers Association
Northeast Professional Truck Drivers Charity Challenge
167 D Street, Lowell MA 01851-4345