Odyssey fundraiser features all sorts of rides
An estimated 1,000 people attended the second annual Touch A Truck event held recently at Ashley Park.
Organized by Odyssey Charter School PTO, the event featured more than 40 vehicles, including Coweta County and City of Newnan fire trucks, the City of Newnan Special Response Team tank, a street sweeper and a vacuum truck courtesy of the City of Newnan, plus vehicles from HERO, Georgia Forestry Service, Coweta Animal Control, the Coweta Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia State Patrol.
“And that was just in the free section,” said 2013 Touch A Truck Chairperson Jennifer Petrino.
The fundraiser was a benefit for Odyssey, but it also assisted the Coweta Community Food Pantry and American Red Cross.
Also at the June 15 event were trucks and equipment from Peterbilt of Atlanta, Southside Wreckers, Horton’s Septic, Southern Scapes Landscaping, McKoon Funeral Home, Newnan Utilities, Vital Care Ambulance, Geek Squad, Fairburn Ready Mix, Parkers Towing, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Senoia Raceway, American Red Cross, Ronny Jones Construction, Two Men and A Truck, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
Georgia Rigging, based in Palmetto, brought a 70-ton truck with a crane that goes up 180 feet in the air. SouthTowne and the new Newnan Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership both participated as well.
“Jerry Patrick of akajunk brought along replicas of the Batmobile and the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine, and both were big hits with kids and adults alike,” said Petrino.
“There was also a military truck restored by Odyssey parent Chris Brown, a 1966 Ford Galaxie classic car and a World War II Army Jeep brought by Andrew Lang,” she said.
Facepainting was provided by Bubbles and Brushes Art Studio, which just moved to Ashley Park from the SummerGrove Marketplace, and there were also booths from the American Cancer Society, Thirty-One and Tupperware. The Ashley Park Farmer’s Market relocated to the Touch A Truck area for the weekend, too.
During Touch A Truck, youngsters and their parents were able to get up close to all kinds of trucks and equipment.
“They could sit inside, honk the horns, speak to the drivers and dream of what they wanted to be when they grow up,” Petrino said.
“The PTO decided to hold Touch a Truck every June, instead of during the regular school year, because they know that families are looking for inexpensive ways to have fun and fill up the long summer days,” she added.
Touch A Truck raised more than $2,000 for Odyssey’s PTO and also provided some 279 canned food items for the Coweta Community Food Pantry and 32 pints of blood for the American Red Cross Blood Drive, which was included as part of the event.
“We are so thankful to all of the businesses that participated and we hope that everyone who came had a fantastic time. By the smiles on the faces of all the children climbing in and out of these trucks, honking horns and having their pictures taken, I think we succeeded in bringing a fun, affordable family event to Ashley Park. And we were able to raise money for our school and support the Food Pantry and the American Red Cross at the same time.”
“Odyssey is all about family and community. We are glad we could share that with everyone,” she said.
The school’s fall festival, which is open to the public, is held in October in the same Ashley Park parking lot and the Odyssey middle school uses an empty storefront for a haunted house. “Because our school property is small, we could not hold these events without the support of Ashley Park mall. It may seem like no big deal, but they are truly making a difference in the lives and education of our Odyssey students by allowing us to use this portion of their parking lot.”