Touch a Truck X – San Diego

This was our first year hosting Touch A Truck (TAT) in July – maybe our last year, too. We had excellent San Diego weather up until the day before when temperatures skyrocketed. The brave families who made it out of their air conditioned homes and onto the hot asphalt are commended for their efforts! We love you parents and your red-faced, sweaty-headed little kids who were happy to cool down with lemonade, shaved ice and ice cream cones between visits to the nearly 60 vehicles on display.

Aside from having lower attendance (thanks to the 90+ degree heat wave), TAT was a huge hit. Our exhibitors were in full force representing everything from a classic Chevy Bel Air to a huge Volvo rock truck. It’s impossible to list everything on display, but here are some highlights. The California Highway Patrol, SD Police SWAT, and SD Fire Department gave the kids a broad look at emergency response vehicles, while three off-road clubs showed off big wheels and roll bars. S&R Towing went all out this year bringing two giant 16-ton “wrecker” tow-trucks and strung a huge American flag 40 feet in the air between the two, and showed off a 1966 El Camino and F350. EDCO made their debut with a Trash Truck that took down the house for the longest line all day… seriously, kids love the trash truck. A favorite carried over from last year is the Cemex cement mixer truck where the kids are invited to write on the barrel with a marker; as it gets full, they spin the barrel to a clean spot. UPS brought four vehicles for the kids to explore and Wells Fargo let everyone sit in their iconic stage coach. We have photos of the day on our TAT website, if you’d like to see a little of everything.

I was fortunate to start working for a new company last year,, who became our title sponsor this year. They are really a great company to be a part of and I’m thankful for their support of TAT. In addition to making a huge donation, they had the company “storyteller” come to the event and put together a wonderful video from the day that not only captures kids enjoying the vehicles, but really looks at the why we do this event in the first place…

10 years ago my son Max lost his fight with cancer. He was 7 years old.

For 10 years we’ve hosted our annual Touch A Truck event to raise money to help fight kids cancer. Why would we lose our child and dive into fundraising? Simple. As parents who have lost a child to this dreaded disease, we’ve lived the worst possible pain a parent can experience. We would never wish that on anyone, so we choose to advocate for those families who are in the fight right now. We choose to help fund cancer research and clinical trials through Beat Nb.

I won’t lie to you: Touch A Truck this year was difficult for me. It was a milestone – 10 years since we said goodbye to our cute, little squeaky 7-year-old. He would be 17 this year, entering his Senior year in high school. We are fortunate to have his childhood friends volunteer at the event and we wonder… well, we wonder about a lot of things. And that can make a parent sad.

What I’m not sad about is being part of Beat Nb, supporting Dr. Giselle Sholler. There is no question about this. We – Beat Nb – are doing all the right things for kids fighting cancer.

Check out the Pictures
About the Author

Melissa Mikulak

Melissa serves as So Cal Director of Beat Nb. Previously co-founder and Executive Director of Max's Ring of Fire, multiple nonprofits with a shared mission merged in June of 2016.

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