Friday, July 7, 2023

Family event ‘Touch A Truck’ rolls into Windham on Saturday

 By Ed Pierce

Those big rigs have fascinated kids of all ages for some time and now they’ll be able to check them out up close and personal when a free ‘Touch A Truck’ for children and families will held in North Windham.

A free 'Tuch A Truck' event sponsored by the Windham Lions
Club runs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 8 in the parking
lot behind Hannaford's Supermarket in North Windham.
Kids and families will be able to explore trucks of all sizes
at the event, which includes food vendors and ice cream with
proceeds to benefit the Windham community. 
Sponsored by the Windham Lions Club, the ‘Touch A Truck” event runs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 8 in the parking lot behind Hannaford’s Supermarket on Route 302 in North Windham.

At this year’s ‘Touch A Truck,’ participants will be able to climb into the cab of a fire truck, see the inside of a police car, explore land excavators, dump trucks and much more. There will be many large vehicles on hand from throughout the community for kids to inspect and honk the horn.

The event has been in the planning stages for months by Windham Lions Club members and admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. All contributions are used to benefit our Windham Community.

Water and snacks will be available and there will be an ice cream truck at the site so participants can purchase their favorite treats. Entertainment at this year’s ‘Touch A Truck’ will be provided by Party Palooga.

“We appreciate the participation of Windham agencies and local businesses that are making this possible,” said Evelyn Brissette, president of the Windham Lions Club.

“The ‘Touch A Truck’ event provides a hands-on educational community event to see and touch the trucks and machinery used in the community and to meet the men and women who operate these machines,” Brissette said. “Participating vehicles will be displayed in a safe, supervised environment and it’s the perfect venue for exploring the machinery while learning about the people who build, protect and serve Windham.”

The idea for hosting ‘Touch A Truck’ staged by the Windham Lions Club came from an idea Brissette had a few years ago.

“I had done some research online and it seemed like ‘Touch A Truck’ would be a fun way to interact with kids and people in our community,” she said. “We also want our community to be aware that the Windham Lions Club does exist and with everyone’s help we can make life a lot brighter for those less fortunate.”

Brissette said that the Windham Lions Club staged its first ‘Touch A Truck’ last summer and it exceeded expectations in terms of participation and people’s willingness to help others.

“Because of the generosity of our Windham community, in 2022 we were able to adopt seven families at Christmas, provided Windham Middle School with a very generous $1,000 check to provide Christmas gifts for their students and their families and were able to provide a generous gift to the students that participated in the Odyssey of the Mind program and were asking for donations to fund their trip. We are looking forward to continuing our programs to support our community in 2023.”

Brissette said that she believes when Windham residents take an interest in their own community, and work together for a cause, they can make a difference.

All proceeds from this year’s ‘Touch A Truck’ event, coupled with the Windham Lions Club’s Craft Fair in October, and cash donated at the club’s annual “Stuff-the-Bus” event in November will go to helping those in need in Windham, Brissette said.

Since its inception, the Windham Lions Club has played a significant charitable role in the community, supporting a variety of causes and issues affecting the lives of residents.

Some of those include purchasing and manning Windham’s first rescue van in 1968; donations to the Windham Public Library; helping with expenses related to eye exams and eyeglass when they meet the Lions Club criteria; assisting with expenses related to hearing tests and hearing aids when they meet the Lions Club criteria; conducting RSU 14 eye screening with more than 5,000 students screened so far; sponsoring the “Student of the Month” program; Speakout competitions; Breakfast with Santa; Stuff-the-Bus with more than 10,000 pounds of food collected for those in need; supporting the Windham Veteran’s Center; and collecting used eye glasses and hearing aids.

Brissette said the Lions Club is grateful to Windham Mall owner Jay Wise, truck company and business participants, and Windham Public agencies for their help with the ‘Touch-A-Truck’ event. “We want our neighbors to know that through their generosity, we can help to make a nicer Christmas possible for the families we are able to adopt this year,” she said. “We will do everything we can with our community’s support.” <

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