FONDA — Area residents are missing summer concerts and fairs, but this year’s Convoy for a Cause is one annual event that is still scheduled to occur.
The Sept. 6 event, put on by the organizers of the Fonda Fair, will see hundreds of decked-out trucks driving from Fort Plain to the Fonda Fairgrounds.
Though state regulations prevent spectators from filling up the grandstands, visitors can watch the trucks arrive from a food truck fair held at the fairgrounds the same day.
“If they’re there to buy food and they’re sitting out at the tables, they’ll be able to watch the convoy go by, but we’re still not allowed to have spectators in the grandstands,” said Richard Kennedy, president of the Fonda Fair Board of Directors.
Kennedy said Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies will be participating in the convoy, and posted at the event to maintain order.
All money raised this year will go to help a local woman with leukemia complete expensive chemotherapy in New York City. Alyssa Parrino, a 22-year-old from Canajoharie, had been cancer-free for almost a year, but was diagnosed again with leukemia this spring.
“She happens to be the same age as my children, so I’ve seen Alyssa growing up,” Kennedy said. “When she was re-diagnosed this spring, it automatically came to me that it was definitely the most worthy cause we could do the convoy for this year.”
The trucks will compete in time trials and vie for awards like oldest truck, most trucks in fleet, and best in show.
Hank “Porky” Pitcher, of Ron Allen Trucking, will be driving in the convoy this year, streaming American flags and blowing what he says are the loudest set of horns in Montgomery County.
“This is something I do out of my own time, my own pocket, dressing up the truck and stuff like that. It’s in my blood,” the 51-year-old Pitcher said.
“Porky” (his CB radio name) has been trucking with Ron Allen for over 18 years and has competed in fundraising truck events from Weedsport to Fonda.
“It’s very productive when you get a lot of trucks that all get together for something like this and they know what cause it is,” said Pitcher.
Truck registration for the convoy will be Sept. 6 from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. at BBL Trucking, 7475 Route 5S, Fort Plain, NY 13339.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in early July that all county fairs, as well as the annual state fair in Syracuse, had to be canceled because of the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
In Fonda, the fair board has been able to lease out the fairgrounds to horse shows and other businesses that are permitted, but Kennedy said they’re still struggling.
“We won’t be able to do things like improvements and keeping people on the payroll,” said Kennedy. “It’s hurt the community, quite frankly, as much as it has us because we’re not able to employ the hundreds of people that we normally do every year. That’s going to hurt the overall tourism; the hotels won’t get business, or the restaurants.”