Friday, May 10, 2024

Windham Lions Club’s Touch A Truck event nearing

By Ed Pierce

The time is nearing to start revving up those big engines once more as the Windham Lions Club will offer a free “Touch A Truck” for children and local families in North Windham next weekend.

The 3rd annual Windham Lions Club Touch a 
Truck event runs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday,
May 18 in the parking lot behind Reny's off
Route 302 in North Windham.
The 3rd annual Windham Lions Touch A Truck event runs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 18 in the parking lot behind Reny’s off 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, watch a police K-9 demonstration, explore land excavators, dump trucks and much more. There will be many large vehicles on hand from throughout the community for kids to inspect, climb into the driver’s seat, and honk the horn.

Although admission is free, donations will be greatly appreciated as proceeds benefit a variety of programs year-round in the Windham community.

Free water will be supplied by Poland Springs and snacks will be available. Ice cream treats will also be sold at the event and a special prize raffle will be conducted.

“As with all events we hold, all profits are returned to our Windham community, said Evelyn Brissette, Windham Lions Club president. “One of our local businesses started us off with a gift to raffle off and others joined in. This added feature will hopefully help us to raise more money. Our intentions have always been that our Touch A Truck add enjoyment to the children and their families that come to our event. However, the raffle could help us raise more funds as we try to help as many families as possible through our Adopt-A-Family program during the holidays as well as other activities throughout the year.”

Brissette said members of the Windham Lions Club are grateful for the participation of Windham agencies and local businesses that have helped make this event possible.

“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’ in 2022 and it has exceeded expectations in terms of participation and the Windham community’s willingness to help others.

She said the Windham Lions Club works throughout the year to uplift the community, such as providing Christmas gifts for local students and families in need and contributing donations for worthwhile school activities such as Odyssey of the Mind.

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 significant difference.

All proceeds from this year’s Touch A Truck event, coupled with the annual Windham Lions Club’s Craft Fair in October, and money donated at the club’s annual “Stuff-the-Bus” event in November will go a long ways 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 in local schools; 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. <

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