By Maryanne Cdristiano-Mistretta
About 2,000 people came out to the Touch a Truck event on Sat., July 30. The fun, family event was held on the grounds of the Madison Public Library and the Madison Area YMCA to benefit the Madison Public Library.
Events included free magic shows featuring Simon Mandal of “The Simon Show,” new and antique railroad memorabilia including working Lionel O Gauge trains and refreshments provided by Firehouse Pizza.
Some of the trucks and vehicles that children were allowed to sit in included a tractor trailer, a 35-ton tow truck, a crane, a fork lift, a mini excavator, a dump truck, a mail truck, an animal van, a school bus, a pediatric ICU unit, a police patrol car, a plumbing truck, an ambulance, a Harley Davidson Motorcycle and a Good Humor truck.
Sue Heffernan, corresponding secretary of Friends of Madison Library said that the event is run every two years and has been running since 2006 or 2008.
She said, “It’s a fun community event with kids.”
With a pay-one price wristband, the price is kept low as a “give back to the community,” according to Heffernan.
Dominic DeRosa, of the Madison Fire Department, said, “It’s a great event. It helps build trust in the community.”
Mital Vora, of New Providence, who came with her two-year-old daughter Myrah, said, “We love it. My kid is crazy about trucks and cars, which are usually for boys. But this event teaches her that girls could do anything.”
Mary Ellen Lenahan and Paul Clark volunteered their Miata truck, as well as their 1991 Mazda Miata to use in the event. Clark said, “It’s more ‘kids size.”
Jack Konner, five, was keyed up about both the police car and the fire engine. He said he wants to be a fireman when he grows up.
Nora Lendvai-Lintner, six, from Burbank, Calif., was in New Jersey with her family visiting her grandparents. Excited about many of the events, she said, “I love balloons and face painting! I was an assistant for the magic show and we had a picnic!”
Kirk Oakes, was a volunteer checking badges. He called the event “rewarding” and said, “It’s a great cause, a good fundraiser and a great family outing for the whole town. People come from all over.” He paused and added, “It always seems like the event is held on the hottest day of the year.”
Volunteer for the Madison Ambulance Corp, Ahsan Ullah, of Madison, said, “It’s really wonderful; a really nice community event. I enjoy working with the kids. Any moment to give back is a moment to be taken. I’m hoping to influence others.”