More than 3,500 visitors attend and donate at the annual event set in Chesterfield Valley, MO.
St. Louis, Missouri On Sunday, June 10, 2012, the Kemp Auto Museum held its annual Big Truck Day show. This family friendly event raised a record 1,052 pounds of food for Operation Food Search, a St. Louis Area Food Bank.
“We want to thank everyone who attended and gave openly and heavily at the event,” said Lisa Roberts, director of events at Kemp Auto Museum. “Feeding the hungry is a cause that is extremely close to our conscious and seeing these contributions all crowded in one place Sunday was very powerful.”
Craig Goldford, director of food resources at Operation Food Search, said this was the “most productive and exciting food drive to occur this year.”
“OFS is privately funded and does not receive any USDA food stuffs or United Way donations,” said Goldford. “We depend on the support and grassroots efforts of organizations like Kemp Auto Museum to fulfill our growing demand for food.”
The Big Truck Day food drive came at a critical time for Operation Food Search. While most can relate to the need to feed the needy during the holiday season, contributions significantly drop off during the carefree summer months. Operation Food Search feeds approximately 140,000 people monthly, with a few thousand more adding to the figure each month.
“Hunger never takes a holiday,” said Goldford. “In the summer the necessity for food donations are sometimes even greater than in the winter. Children are home from school and no longer have access to school breakfast and lunch programs. The need for food donations never stops.”
The museum hopes the event will inspire more year-round giving.
“All of us at the museum have personally known or seen situations where families are making the choice between electricity and a warm meal,” said Roberts. “And it’s not happening in a third world country. It’s happening right here in our community, in Chesterfield, in Ballwin and all over Missouri. It’s a circumstance that, if we work together, we can make an impact and bring change to.”
Big Truck Day was a double sided victory for the museum. In addition to increased food donations, the event brought record attendance. Over 3,500 visitors attended the show, up from 2,000 in the previous year.
“The museum is proud to have created such a can’t-miss event,” said Roberts. “We strive to provide worthy attractions and activities that visitors of all ages can enjoy.”
This year, the event featured over 40 vehicles that kids could climb and explore including Bigfoot, the world’s first monster truck. There were also trucks from Monarch Fire Department, tractors, military vehicles, 4X4’s and more. Through a partnership with West County Family YMCA, event activities also experienced a complete revamping.
“The community had a blast hula hooping, putt-putt golfing, and enjoying all the free giveaways,” said Annemarie Deutschmann, director of marketing at YMCA. “Our drawing for a free 3-month membership and a 2-night stay at Trout Lodge proved to be a big hit as well. The Y is excited about participating in next year’s event.”
Plans are already being made for Big Truck Day next year. Another Bigfoot vehicle will display, as confirmed by Bob Chandler, Bigfoot owner and creator, this Sunday. The museum will also introduce more games and activities for children.