Kids of all ages and sizes will get up close and personal with big machines. (Colette Hopkins)

Kids of all ages and sizes will get up close and personal with big machines. (Colette Hopkins)

Touch a Truck event returns to raise money for cancer research

The Touch a Truck event is returning for its 7th year. Kids of all ages will be able to get into police trucks and fire trucks, touch the switches and buttons and talk to drivers. The event will be at Panorama Rec Centre May 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and raises money for neuroblastoma research.

They will have multiple fire trucks, police cars, dump trucks, cement trucks and more. BC HAZMAT will also have Tom Thumb pedal cars for kids.

“We try to have a wide representation of cars there so kids can press buttons and turn sirens on, talk to the drivers. It’s a really unique event,” said Colette Hopkins, an organizer of the event.

About 70 Canadian children a year are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year, according to the Team 4 Hope website.

Neuroblastoma affected Hopkins’ nephew Jordan, who was diagnosed at Stage 4. It is the most common cancer in infancy, and there is a low chance of survival. Jordan beat the odds, and today he is almost 20, in university, and a volunteer with the event. The Team 4 Hope was founded on the 10th anniversary of Jordan’s diagnosis.

“The kids just have this look of awe on their face when they’re walking around and actually able to get up close to these vehicles, get inside them and press buttons, turn things on,” said Hopkins.

Last year, the event raised over $13,500 for cancer research throughout B.C. (through the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation), and over six years they’ve raised over $63,000.

This year’s title sponsor is Island Savings, which lets them give free tickets and barbecue tokens to families in need.

Hopkins said she is happy the event not only raises money for childhood cancer research, but is also inclusive to families and children who might not otherwise be able to enjoy the event.

“It’s kind of an event that’s suitable for kids of all ages, including the big ones!”

Advance tickets are $15 per family (two adults and their kids), or $20 at the door. They can be purchased at team4hope.com or in-person (cash only) at Kiddin Around Children’s Store in Sidney.

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com