A fixture at truck shows for years with his owner-operator grandfather Jim Rogers, leased to Fikes, young Chance Rogers passed away July 11 after a long battle with bone cancer. Several owner-operators and drivers have banded together in the Truckers United for Charities group to honor Chance by raising money for a memorial fund in his name for the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation in Porland, Ore. “That was the hospital that took care of Chance,” says Lee Strebel, an owner-operator leased to M&M American out of Fairfield, Ohio.
Strebel knew Chance, like so many drivers, from truck shows, he says. “Jim brought him just about every year to Dallas” to the Great American Trucking Show, he says, “and we all got to know him. Last year, during one of the concerts, he was sitting out there for a few hours and I got to chat with him for 45 minutes to an hour. I believe he was 15, and I think they discovered the cancer when he was maybe nine.
“He’d had to have most of a leg taken off a year and a half or so ago, and he took things in stride better than anybody on this planet. He was having a ball, enjoying the music [in the truck parking lot]. What a great kid – just a remarkable young man.”
Involved in a previous benefit for Chance years ago after the cancer was discovered, Strebel says donation jars will be positioned in various places around the Great American Trucking Show later this week in Dallas. He specifically mentions the booths for the Medical Education Resource Vehicle (the MERV), Fikes Truck Lines, Gulf Coast Filters and Convoy for a Cure.
Likewise out in the truck lot behind the Convention Center, a special edition of owner-operator Howard Salmon’s “These Trucks Are Made of Gold” record dedicated to Chance (pictured) will be on offer, all proceeds going to the Foundation.
“We cook burgers and brats and such out in the parking lot,” says Strebel, “and all the profits from that along with the jars… All the money will go to the Foundation.”
And here are some of the performers who’ll be participating in this year’s Truckers Entertaining Truckers events in the lot. I’ll be out there Thursday night checking some of it out — hope to see you there.
If you won’t be at GATS but wish to donate to the fund, find Truckers Uniting for Charities here on Facebook for information how to do that.
For more on other goings-on at GATS, Thursday-Saturday this week in Dallas, check out my post from last week.
Check out a couple personal favorites here in McCarter’s “Draggin’ My Wagon” video and Salmon’s “These Trucks Are Made of Gold” below.