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By Katie Tarta
Foundation Development Coordinator
Twelve months ago during the October Elementary PTO meeting a new fundraising idea was presented, Touch A Truck. This idea gained momentum largely because of the parent enthusiasm and it was that same enthusiasm that made the event itself such a great success. Touch A Truck, hosted by Eastern Christian Elementary, had nearly 950 people on site Saturday October 17th with over 20% attending as non-EC families. It is proof positive that a small group of motivated people can have a huge impact and create a tidal wave of support.
The Touch A Truck committee (Alissa Leegwater , Shalom Russo, Nikki Waples, Denise Wiegers, Michelle Morgner, Catherine Belanus and Katie Tarta) spent hours of their time coordinating the event and managing various departments. It was their dedication throughout the year and even over the summer that made this event possible but it was the 70+ volunteers that executed the event serving our guests and bringing credibility to ECES as place where you are welcomed. Despite its name, Touch A Truck, was not just about trucks or vehicles or games for kids it was about heart. It showed the heart of Eastern Christian Community from the generosity of the sponsors to the unselfishness of the volunteers.
Over 30 tours were given to families interested in knowing more about the school and guests were from 3 states (CT, NY, NJ). Attendees hailed from Haskill to Dumont and Teterboro to Wayne plus all the usual Bergen County towns. Trucks and vehicles were present in every category including Russo Development’s construction vehicles and Kuiken’s Boom Truck. There were private automotives like Bill Cook’s Monster Truck and Ken Belanus’s Ski Mobile along with many others. The Leegwater’s gave rides on their Gator behind the school and the Fun Bus entertained kids all day long. Service vehicles were in abundance and even the Patterson K9 unit attended giving a full demonstration of their German Shepherds training.
A ticket at the door gained guests access to all the vehicles, demonstrations, games, giveaways and rides taking the pressure off family budgets. Generous companies like Bergen Mamma handed out toys from their treasure chest and volunteer truck drivers distributed goody bags, construction hats, balloons and even vehicles at the Borst sponsored Sand Dig. Sherwood Dairies gave away cartons of Chocolate, Regular and Lactaid Milk and there was no shortage of swag collected by children.
Families bought over 300 meals sold including Fried Chicken, Burgers & Hot Dogs and over 100 hot pretzels. After expenses ECES PTO will net about $8,500 for technology improvements. Having gained momentum the Touch A Truck committee looks forward to more successful events in the future. Many thanks go to the Foundation & Marketing departments at Eastern Christian for helping to launch our first ever Touch A Truck!
Please keep a look out for Touch A Truck T-shirts being offered to EC families at cost this week.