Truckers Raise More Than $4,000 For Special Needs Boy Who Loves Big Rigs
Kahoka, Missouri – More than two dozen truckers convoyed on Saturday in an effort to raise money and the spirits of a 6-year-old boy who simply loves trucks.
Earlier this month, Transportation Nation Network (TNN) told you the story of how a group of truckers joined together to surprise little Bentlee McGeehon after his mother, Alisha Leasman-McGeehon, reached out to friends and a few trucking groups on Facebook.
She asked truckers to send pictures of big rigs to cheer her son up.
Alisha said Bentlee, who has “special needs,” calls semi-trucks “beep beeps,” and gets a thrill out of truckers honking their horns for him.
After posting about Bentlee on social media, hundreds of truckers began replying with pictures of big rigs.
A group of truckers even had a special day for Bentlee earlier in July and called it “Beep Beeps For Bentlee.”
Alisha’s post also caught the attention of trucker Greg Anderson.
Anderson is the president of the grassroots trucker group, Black Smoke Matters (BSM), but more importantly, he too has a special needs son.
“His story touched my heart,” Anderson told TNN last month. “I know firsthand the costs and the expenditures.”
Anderson’s son, Austin, was diagnosed with a rare brain condition as a young child, and Anderson says his family’s life was forever changed.
“From that point on it was doctor visits two or three times a week sometimes requiring we travel across the country,” he recalled.
Anderson mentioned to other BSM leaders that he wanted to help the McGeehons.
Everyone quickly got excited about a second “Beep Beeps For Bentlee.”
On Saturday, truckers came from as far away as California, Colorado and Maryland to join in a 10-mile convoy from Wayland to Kahoka, MO to honor Bentlee.
“What an amazing event,” Anderson told TNN on Sunday. “I’m still getting chill bumps right now talking about it.”
More than 30 big rigs, many of which were adorned with American flags, joined in the convoy as Anderson led the way in his 2015 Kenworth T680 with Bentlee riding shotgun.
“He was so happy,” Anderson said of Bentlee. “He put his hand on my hand when I was shifting and just had a big smile.”
Community members lined the streets waving as local police and fire crews worked to provide safe navigation along the route.
MORE TRUCKERS GIVING BACK
As for Bentlee, he enjoyed getting in many of the trucks and spending the day doing what he loves most.
“He wants to hear the beep beeps more than anything,” Anderson fondly recalled.
The night before Saturday’s events, Anderson had a chance to visit the McGeehon’s home.
He said the hallways are lined with pictures of big rigs truckers have sent to Bentlee.
The long-time trucker said he was “blown away” as Bentlee pointed at one of the many pictures on the wall and confidently said, “There’s your truck.”
MORE “BEEP BEEPS FOR BENTLEE” NEWS
Anderson, along with Saturday’s participants, raised more than $4,200 for Bentlee’s parents, David and Alisha, to help with Bentlee’s recent and ongoing medical expenses.
“They kept thanking me a million a times,” Anderson said of the McGeehons.
However, Anderson expressed he was the one that was thankful.
“It’s the best day I’ve had in many moons. Bentlee’s changed my life,” he stated.
Anderson stressed BSM will continue to organize events like these to give back.
“Truckers are giving people. I think it just shows the heart that a lot of us have to give back,” he exclaimed.
WATCH scenes from the convoy below.
(Courtesy of Candace Caudle Wilson/Facebook)
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