Sheila Dodd Jones' aunt, Elner Hancock, formed a team in the spring of 1997 in memory of her sister, Carroll H. Dodd, after she passed away from breast cancer. She did this to honor her sister and the long battle she had endured. After the first year Elner's family and Sheila joined in with the Cookie Crumbles team, led by Cookie Milton. After participating in the relay for several years and participating in team fundraising events, she began feeling like the normal fundraisers, such as yard sales and bake sales, just were not bringing in the dollars needed to find a cure for this horrible disease.
She began to brainstorm with her husband, Darrin, about other options and alternatives to the average fundraisers. The Jones family had several ties in the trucking occupation. Not only was Darrin a truck driver, but his family consisted of a trucking company's co-owners, a truck salesman, and a truck repair shop owner. The logical way to proceed was to find a way to involve trucks in this new venture.
Darrin and Sheila then came up with an idea. Why not try a parade of trucks? From the first year, Darrin's uncle, Kermit Jones and his wife Rhonda, have been involved in the planning of the event and Kermit (a truck saleman for Virginia Truck Center) used his contacts to help recruit trucks for the parade. Virginia Truck Center then offered to help Dodd's Farm Supply (Sheila's father's company) with the expenses of the event. This ensured that all the money donated by the truckers and trucking company owners would go directly toward the fundraising goal for the American Cancer Society.
The idea of the Trucker's Parade Against Cancer was then brought to life in the Fall of 2000 for its debut. The team captain of Cookie Crumbles even forfeited her team name and became the TPAC Relay Team to help with fundraising and be part of this event. This is not your typical Christmas parade-In this parade, trucks carry a banner in memory or in honor of their loved ones that have fought the battle against Cancer as they travel through four towns within Charlotte County, VA. People line the streets to show their support and cheer on and wave as the parade passes.
This group of truckers, sponsors, TPAC team members, and volunteers are a one of a kind group of people. They are determined that the support will be present for survivors who are battling or have overcome this disease and that the memory of the loved ones lost to it will not be forgotten.
The Truckers Parade Against Cancer that started in Charlotte County also inspired other parades in Galax and Nelson County, VA in later years.
The TPAC Team cannot express in words the emotion that one feels when the truck parade rolls through the county and we could never thank the awesome group of truckers enough that participate each year and continue to make the Trucker's Parade Against Cancer the success that it has become.
Meet The TPAC Team
Sheila Jones, Hazel Lockridge, Peggy Tharpe, Charky Paulette, Couper Webb, Janet Slaw, Elner Hancock, Brenda Vassar, Meredith Feinman, Susan Jones, Patty Gormus, Linda Medlin, Linda Hicks, Mary Tucker, Linda Kidd, Allen Kidd, Ronnie Pugh, Frank Medlin, Mike Hopkins, Tommy Hamlett, Joey Pugh, Tamara Bennett, Mary Ann Price, Shirley Martin, Doug Martin, Dottie Long, Lewis Carwile, Emily Lawhorne, Timmy Grey, Jennifer Grey, Annette Clowdis, Robert Clowdis, Leland Vassar, Daryl Bennett
TPAC Members Not Present
Darrin Jones, Megan Jones, Kermit Jones, Rhonda Jones, McKenna Friend, Arnold Tharpe, Shannon Feinman, Cheryl Vassar, Cole Feinman, Cassie Long, Ginny Elder, Stanley Foster, Darlene Foster, Ed Miller, Malinda Miller, Marjorie Bailey, Stephen Lawhorne, Mark Lawhorne, Hampton Dodd, Andy and Stacey Strickland, Cookie Milton, Janice Lumpkin, Linda Vogt, Lois Smoot, Macie Fannon, Shelby Davis, Johnny and Cindy Korn, Pete Lipscomb, Emily Lawhorne, Greg and Joanne Adler