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Truckers, law enforcement unite for Special Olympics convoys

Truckers have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support South Dakota athletes.

More than 110 truck drivers and dozens of law enforcement officials united Saturday for the annual truck convoy for Special Olympics in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

This is just one of many truck convoys planned throughout September and October to raise awareness and money to benefit Special Olympics athletes in 24 states and 4 provinces annually.

All of the money raised goes directly to support and benefit the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which is Special Olympics South Dakota’s largest grassroots fundraising campaign.

This marks the 18th year that trucking veteran Marty Ellis has helped organize the South Dakota Special Olympics convoys in Sioux Falls and Rapid City. The Rapid City convoy will be a virtual event this year.

He said truck drivers have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2003 to support more than 2,500 South Dakota Special Olympics athletes.

However, Ellis said he expects fewer athletes to participate in this year’s convoy because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have guys that come every year and they develop a friendship with the athletes,” Ellis told FreightWaves. “They share telephone calls and write letters back and forth. It’s pretty amazing.”

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 14 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to