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Edwardsville Township plans vehicle day for youngsters

Edwardsville Township is again hosting its annual free Touch-A-Truck event at Edwardsville Township Community Park, 6368 Center Grove Road. This year’s event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.

edwardsvilletownshiplogo1During the event, children are able to explore a wide range of more than 30 vehicles. Some of this year’s lineup includes:

• Two helicopters and an ambulance from SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital;
• An ambulance and a fire truck from Glen Carbon Fire Protection District;
• A monster 46-foot-long fire apparatus from Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery;
• Tow trucks from Cross Auto Body and Towing of Edwardsville;
• A Humvee from Scott Air Force Base;
• An excavator from Eclipse Car Wash;
• A mini excavator from Korte & Luitjohan of Highland;
• A solar-powered car from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s School of Engineering.

“Touch-A-Truck has been a very successful event since we started hosting it in 2014,” said Township Supervisor Fred Schulte. “We are proud of the community support it receives from businesses and organizations, and the excitement and energy it draws. We welcomed more than 5,000 people at last year’s event and the crowds continue to grow. It’s a great, family friendly event that features some fun activities and something for everyone.”

More than 45 companies and organizations are sponsoring this year’s event. Top sponsors that are providing free event parking and shuttle service to and from Edwardsville High School and Metro East Lutheran High School parking lots are:

• JF Electric of Edwardsville as a Bulldozer sponsor with a $2,000 donation;
• And Big Rig sponsors, Truck Centers Inc. of Troy and Gateway Truck & Refrigeration of Collinsville,
each donating $1,000.

Food trucks will be on site for snacks and lunch. This year’s vendors include Cardinals Nation, Pig on a Wing and Kona Ice. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Izzy, the Gateway Grizzlies’ mascot, will be interacting with the kids and available for photos. TapSnap, a local photo booth rental company, will again be on site offering free event day photos that will be directly uploaded to Facebook.

Families and kids are encouraged to check out many vehicles they see every day, and others that are not often accessible. Emergency vehicles, farm equipment, antique tractors, boom trucks, line trucks and more are open to young explorers all day. Local companies will be handing out free merchandise to attendees while supplies last.

This year’s children’s activities will include a ceramic truck painting area hosted by Eclipse Car Wash of Edwardsville, demonstrations and games provided by Blue Wave Martial Arts & Fitness of Edwardsville, face painting by Bright Spot Pediatric Stroke of Granite City, a construction dig site at the Township Park’s Gaga Pit, games sponsored by Sylvan Learning Center and more.

“The children’s activity area is always a hit,” said Edwardsville Township Administrator Beth Behrhorst. “We have more than 30 volunteers assisting with this year’s event, from Township employees, members of the community, Edwardsville High School’s Interact Club and SIUE’s Psychology Club. We’re very encouraged by the tremendous community support we’ve received.”

The township also will be collecting canned foods and non-perishable food items the day of the event. The food donations will be used to prepare Thanksgiving baskets for individuals in need.

“We are hoping to collect enough food to prepare at least 20 Thanksgiving baskets,” said Edwardsville Township Community Outreach Coordinator Christine Doty. “We are working with Edwardsville School District 7 to identify families in need. The support from the community means so much to area children and their families, and the township is honored to help with this effort.”

For more information, contact Behrhorst at the Edwardsville Township office at (618) 656-0292.

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