CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Thousands came out in Chapel Hill Sunday for the 8th annual Touch a Truck event. It’s a fundraiser for Boy Scout Troop 39 and UNC Children’s Hospital. Families turned out to have some fun and donate money to a good cause.
“It’s an all hands on deck event for us,” said Scout Master Sammy Rape. “If you include the numbers of volunteers, the people who brought in vehicles themselves, our scouts and all the people who paid admission, we’ll be close to 5,000 people in and out of the gates to Touch a Truck.”
The parking lot at University Place Mall was packed with kids of all ages clamoring for a chance behind the wheel of some big trucks.
“I think every kid really likes to crawl into a big truck and honk the horn or run the siren,” said Dr. Alan Hinderliter, who works at UNC.
Touch a Truck has grown to encompass 40 trucks from all different organizations, plus a boat and a helicopter. To date, the event has raised around $46,000 for UNC Children’s Hospital.
“There are all kinds of things that just make the stays of our patients more pleasant that result from contributions of this program,” Hinderliter said.
The hospital provides care to more than 70,000 children across the state every year, including a couple scouts.
“I broke my arm just a month ago probably and I got some care from UNC,” Boy Scout Joey Shaheen said.
Shaheen and other scouts say that’s one of the reasons they like participating in the fundraiser. They know they are helping kids in their community when money goes to UNC. Also, it’s fun to see a bunch of big vehicles side by side.
“Sometimes they just bring really long empty trucks that kids can run around in,” said James Fitz-Henley, another Boy Scout.
“I like seeing all the kids have fun,” said fellow scout Bryan Reed.
This year scouts are hoping to hit the $50,000 mark for UNC, and with so much support from the community, they’re just a few honks away.
The Boy Scouts themselves also get a portion of the money to continue their own programs and services.
“Our troop, we use this money to buy new things, go on trips and things that all the scouts really enjoy,” said Boy Scout Ethan Hellofs.
In addition to the event, organizers are also holding an online auction to add to the fundraiser.
Link for Touch a Truck
Link for auction