Kids see more than 30 vehicles at Touch-A-Truck

Sep. 22, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

There wasn't an inch of the U.S. Post Office truck that Lucas and Conner Parker didn't touch Saturday morning.

The brothers, just 2 and 3 years old, traced their hands along the seats, the steering wheel and doors while tromping back and forth into the rear section of the vehicle.

"Do you guys wanna see another truck?" their mother, Amber Parker, offered.

Their plastic, yellow construction hats may have obstructed their hearing as they sat firmly in place, laughing to one another.

The Parker family was one of hundreds which attended the Touch-A-Truck event, sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America in the Three Rivers District,  Saturday at the Sanford Lions Club Fairgrounds.

"These babies love trucks," Amber Parker said. "It's our first time here and we are very impressed."

For those unfamiliar with the Touch-A-Truck event, it's exactly what it sounds like. More than 30 vehicles — including a fire truck, mobile units from the Sanford Police Department and Lee County Sheriff's Office, a school bus, dump trucks, bucket trucks, cranes and a UNC Hospital helicopter — were on display for children to explore with their eyes and hands, and to ask questions about the trucks from the vehicles' nearby operators.

"This really does show children how many people it takes to make a community run," said Tamara Lewis, chairman for the Touch-A-Truck committee. "It's great to see the vehicles and see what the exciting and interesting people do with those vehicles."

Bill Coley, a Sanford Fire Department driver and operator, said the kids were falling over themselves to scurry into the truck, turn on the sirens or blow the truck's horn.

"A lot of kids, in their daily lives, can't touch and play (with these trucks)," he said. "So this is a good chance to explore and get hands on experience, and see what they are about."

Alyson Weimar brought her four children including 4-year-old Adelyn, who said her favorite moments were touring the ambulance and seeing the helicopter landing. Henry Lauffer, 4, donned in a monster truck T-shirt, said he was looking forward to the firetruck and that he enjoyed the backhoe loader.

"It's pretty awesome," said Henry's mother, Kelly Lauffer. "And for it to be so close to home."

Caleb Vazquez-Miranda, 6, said the "big, black" garbage truck was one of his favorites, along with the crane because "it goes really high up into the sky."

"It's pretty cool," said Caleb's mother, Jennifer Vazquez-Miranda. "We've gotten a lot of information about Cub Scouts, too."

Dana Branson, a volunteer with the Boy Scout Troop 713, said Touch-A-Truck was one of her favorite events because it opened a wider world to the children.

"The fire trucks and the police vehicles aren't so scary if they see them here first," she said. "There are so many kids who are not this lucky."

The event was sponsored by R&N Motor Company, American South Contractors and the Lee County Sheriff's Office. Upon arrival, every child received a wooden truck-shaped toy, crafted by Ralph Evans.