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Trucking went plaid for dad

Posted: July 6, 2018 by John G. Smith

Arnold Bros. team members celebrate their efforts.

TORONTO, Ont. – The trucking industry continues to wrap itself in Plaid for Dad to support Prostate Cancer Canada – and this year Arnold Bros. Transport even earned the coveted plaid vest awarded to the fundraising campaign’s top workplace champion.

The fleet accounted for more than $19,000 of about $50,000 raised by 20 carriers and suppliers this year, according to Trucks for Change, which helped to coordinate industry efforts.

It’s the first time an individual fleet has won the award, but trucking industry efforts have dominated the Plaid for Dad fundraising in recent years. An Ontario Trucking Association team earned the vest in 2016, while a Canadian Trucking Alliance team earned the top spot in 2017.

Arnold Bros. became involved in the campaign when vice-president Gary Arnold heard a pitch during a Canadian Trucking Alliance meeting in 2017. And this year the fleet smashed through its $12,500 target.

“It kind of took on a life of its own,” says Arnold Bros. finance director Carla Kaneski, who served as the campaign captain and credits a fundraising team representing several departments. Employee activities such as draws, donations and barbecues in Winnipeg and Milton, Ont., raised $4,500 alone. That was matched by the fleet and then supplemented through supplier donations. “Arnold Bros. always matches what we do for fundraising,” she adds.

Plaid also became a visible sign of support through workplace attire during the month, including everything from ties to socks.

This is also the first time that Trucks for Change – known for marshalling industry resources such as discounted freight moves for charities – was involved in a purely fundraising initiative, helping to coordinate and champion industry efforts.

There’s a natural fit between the fight against prostate cancer and the trucking industry’s male-dominated workforce, says Pete Dalmazzi, president of Trucks for Change. “I think carriers understand the demographics of their workforce … there was almost no one I talked to that didn’t say a couple of my drivers or good friends in the industry are suffering right now.”

“The companies that are doing it have jumped in with two feet,” he adds.

The industry’s involvement was hardly limited to fundraising alone. Carriers including Steed Standard Transport, Arnold Bros., and Rosenau Transport have added vehicle wraps to support awareness. Plaid for Dad encourages workplaces to wear plaid in a show of support on the Friday before Father’s Day.

“Awareness is everything for us. Men typically don’t like to talk about their health,” says Arden Bagni, a spokeswoman for Prostate Cancer Canada. Yet almost all of the men who have prostate cancer detected soon enough will survive.

“Trucking groups across the country have been really integral to what we’ve been doing,” she adds.

“We’re just getting warmed up. It’s a great cause,” Dalmazzi says.

Trucks for Change has to date raised $160,000 for charitable efforts through volunteering or fundraising, and offered about $500,000 through in-kind freight services.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

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