Touch a Truck is basically a family-friendly community event held at a local park (or school playground) where kids have the opportunity to touch and climb on dozens of cool vehicles! From firetrucks and ice cream trucks to Army tanks and Hummers, from race cars and backhoes to tractors and cement mixers, kids just love anything that is loud, has wheels, and is unique. And, how often do you really get to look inside a fire truck or ride in the bucket of an electric company’s cherry picker? Have you been inside an ice cream truck before? Wouldn’t it be neat to get a peek?
Combine this with family friendly carnival games, concession stands, live music, child ID and fingerprinting station, bike safety info, and a pet adoption center and you’ve created a fun filled afternoon for a family on a budget! Bring in more of the animal focus by including microchipping, hold a police K-9 demonstration, invite McGruff the Crime Dog, and focus on dog bite prevention. Charge $5 per person, with a max of $15 or $20 per family. Some groups have opted for a printed program for the event, and charged another $25 to have kids’ names listed in the program next to some really neat photos of trucks. Include a layout of the area on this program so families can easily find the different types of trucks organized together.
You will need to coordinate with various truck companies and groups at least 6 months in advance. Since this is a charity based fundraiser, most companies and organizations will have no trouble working with you. You may face a little extra paperwork with government vehicles, such as the mail truck and Army Reserve vehicles, so plan accordingly.
As always, you’ll need to make sure you have event insurance for this, since you’ll most likely be using a city park or school playground area. Check with your city to see what special permits you may need, including traffic assistance from the local police.
Here’s a list of some great trucks and vehicles you can bring in:
- ice cream truck
- firetruck (check with a volunteer fire department to see if they have an older one that won’t be called out during your event)
- ambulance (check with a private company who can give one up for the day)
- mail truck
- tow truck
- race car (from a local track)
- construction trucks (backhoe, dump truck, excavator, cement mixer, wheel loader, roller, snow plow, forklift)
- farming equipment (harvester, baler, tractor, combine)
- military vehicles (armored personnel carrier, tank, jeep, hummer)
- police vehicles (including cruisers, motorcycles, bikes, and SWAT vehicles!)
- utility vehicles (cherry picker, cable runner,
- include a few classic cars so the adults have some neat things to look at and climb in, too!
Groups that have hosted this annual fundraiser bring in between $1,000 and $5,000! The more trucks and community involvement you have, the better your fundraiser will be! And, the event will grow more each year, giving you more opportunities to add in extra trucks, set up information booths, bring in food vendors (instead of a basic concession stand), add a bike rodeo and a golf cart test driving course, and simply make it bigger and better! The possibilities are endless here! And, the publicity you create in your community about your great charity will help bring in more donations and increase adoptions overall!
NOTE: If this does not exist in your area, start one! Be the first to try it and watch how excited the community will be to attend!