Big G Express Raises Over $30,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Big G Express has donated over $30,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital over the past four years through donations raised at an annual charity motorcycle ride. The ride was an idea pitched to the leadership team by one of Big G's professional truck drivers, Tim Chelette. Tim has been part of the Big G team for over 15 years and has driven almost 2 million safe miles. He has been Big G's Driver of the Year (2016), a member of the Tennessee Road Team (2017-2018), Tennessee Driver of the Year (2018) and currently serves on America's Road Team (2019-2020). Tim and his wife, Teresa, enjoy riding motorcycles and are members of the local Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA) of which Tim is currently serving as President. Tim participated in many charity motorcycle rides and knew they were a great way to raise money for a charity. Combining his passion for helping others and his love of trucking and motorcycles, Tim was persuasive in his request for Big G's support of this cause. Even though coordinating a motorcycle ride was not something Big G had done in the past, the leadership group agreed to support the event knowing Tim would be there to lead the cause!
The ride has grown every year, with 86 bikes participating in the 2019 ride. Even after a rain reschedule date, the June 2019 ride almost doubled the 2018 donation raising $14,638! Big G promotes the online donations for months prior to the event and employees make their donations to St. Jude directly to support the ride. Tim and his wife collect donations from local businesses for door prizes and an auction on the day of the event. Big G Express vendors have made donations to the auction including a Jack Daniels Whiskey Barrel signed by the master distiller and tickets to the Talladega NASCAR Race. Every dollar from the auction and donations from participants in the ride go directly to St. Jude.
Tim (and his wife Teresa) and Jodi Lamb, Manager of Marketing, were blessed with the opportunity to visit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for a campus tour and recognition of the money raised for the organization. "I am blown away by the thought and detail that St. Jude puts in for the children and their families," said Tim. "We saw so many ways that St. Jude goes above and beyond to make the child and their family comfortable and have the most normal life possible while fighting their illness."
St. Jude patients get the best treatments at no cost to their families. Their doctors are working to find cures and treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80%. "We are proud to support St. Jude Children's Hospital and their efforts to treat and find cures for childhood cancer," said Kristi McFarland, VP of HR and Safety at Big G. "I encourage anyone with a healthy child or grandchild to donate something, any amount helps those that are faced with childhood cancer or pediatric diseases.”
Tim and the Big G team are looking forward to raising even more at the 5th Annual Charity Ride next May!