Long Beach’s “Touch-A-Truck” event raises money for local grants, scholarships

Not all heroes wear capes, but they do drive some pretty sweet rides.
Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 10:23 PM CDT
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LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - Not all heroes wear capes, but they do drive some pretty sweet rides.

The annual Touch-A-Truck event is back on the Coast, allowing families to interact with real life superheroes who make a difference in their communities.

Sirens and horns could be heard nonstop as kids across South Mississippi spent the afternoon getting an up-close look at vehicles which heroic individuals use to protect and serve. Touch-A-Truck also teaches children valuable life skills, such as how to escape a fire, prepare emergency kits and explore various professional paths.

Long Beach resident Heather Necaise brought her 4-year-old daughter. Necaise wants her to see early on how many career options are available to her.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for boys and girls to see what’s out there and figure out what they want to do with their lives,” she said. “Some of these jobs do require you to go to college. A lot of them don’t, and some people don’t have the opportunity to go to college.”

A mother of two, Jada Vierling Hill also brought her kids to the event. She hopes her eldest child’s interactive experience will help him better understand how things work.

“Our 3-year-old is obsessed with excavators and buses, so it is giving him an opportunity to actually get on a vehicle that he’s never seen in real life and just see different types of vehicles that people use on a daily basis when they are working,” said Hill.

Touch-A-Truck is orchestrated each year by the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce. This event is used as a fundraiser for local grants and scholarships.

“So this is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Colette Byrnes, Long Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Chair. “We raise money for teacher grants, small business grants and our scholarships for Long Beach High School students.”

Over 30 local businesses participated this year with around 400 families in attendance, The Chamber believes that number will increase next year.

This year’s Touch-A-Truck was sponsored by Husband Contracting.

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