St. Johnsville resident and retired teacher Phoebe Sitterly is using her “great appreciation” for truck drivers, and their dedication to serve, as the inspiration for an event to thank them with a bagged lunch, planned for Monday, April 27 in Fultonville.
The truck drivers event will begin at 11 a.m., and feature a boxed lunch for drivers passing through Nationwide Transportation Brokers, just off the Thruway, Exit 28, at 58 Riverside Drive in Fultonville.
Sitterly and a team of volunteers will welcome any truck driver to stop on the 27th for lunch. The NYS Truckers Association will help get the word out with advertising and posts.
A flyer soliciting donations for the event explained, “Truck drivers are heroes in this troubling time — keeping our stores stocked with items we all need more than ever. Some businesses do not want to let them in their facilities to use restrooms, and truck stops are starting to close down their showers.”
Sitterly is not new to taking action on behalf of others in the community. She said that during her career in education as a social studies teacher, she helped students and their families for many years.
Despite some hesitation by a few individuals during the planning phases of the event, Sitterly pushed forward and did not give up. “At points I was getting a bit discouraged with some people questioning like it was too much to accomplish,” she said. “Last Wednesday I took the whole day to go out personally and seek donations from all obvious places in Fulton and Montgomery County. I received mixed reactions.”
But then the outpouring of support began. She said, “Price Chopper in Gloversville was my first success. The manager recognized me and agreed to give chips and fruit, and she called the Palatine store to tell them to do the same! I visited all of the Subways, and Subway of Amsterdam (located inside of Amsterdam Walmart) called and they are donating all 200 subs! I am over the moon with joy.”
These successes started the ball rolling, and now everything is falling into place. Sitterly found partnerships in CG Roxanne LLC in Johnstown, that is donating Crystal Geyser bottled water for the event, the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce Tourism Department, that is donating lunch bags for the truckers and Nationwide Transportation Brokers for hosting and donating the space for Monday.
Fulton and Montgomery County Director of Tourism Development Anne Boles said, “Phoebe has done an amazing job gathering resources and donations to help make our truckers feel appreciated. Along with recreational visitors to our counties, truckers spend money daily at our local truck stops. Local residents are beneficiaries of the sales tax revenue they leave behind. During this unprecedented time, we want them to know that they are welcome and we are grateful that they are still on the job every day for our benefit.”
Sitterly said candy bars will be donated from Stewarts Shops, and pieces of fruit were donated from Hannaford in Gloversville. Walmart in Gloversville and Herkimer will offer gift cards and Beech Nut will donate snack bars.
There have also been many cash donations, which have been greatly appreciated, Sitterly stated. She plans to use those funds to create additional events for other essential employees. She is working with restaurants in the area to plan a hot meal or similar event to show appreciation to those in the community who are continuing to serve others.
She said she offers many thanks to Nationwide Transportation for hosting the event, St. John’s Reformed Church in St. Johnsville, and the volunteers that will be helping on Monday.
Sitterly shared her thoughts giving her personal energy to others with a quote by Zoroaster: “Doing good to others is not a duty, it is a joy, for it increases our own health and happiness”
To volunteer for the truckers appreciation event, or to donate, contact Sitterly at (518) 844-9607.