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U s Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting

Five good things that happened in trucking this week—Dec. 3

Dec. 3, 2021
Sneak peek: Washington D.C. lights up 2021 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, Love’s launches 12 Days of Christmas giveaway, Ozinga to spread community joy with The Merry Mixer, and more.

The post-Thanksgiving sluggishness may be upon us, but that hasn't stopped the trucking industry from hauling holiday cheer as we begin the final month of 2021. Here are five good things that happened in trucking this week.

Washington, D.C., lights up 2021 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

On Oct. 25, the 2021 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree began its 3,300-mile journey from the Mad River Ranger District of the Six Rivers National Forest in California to Washington, D.C., where it is now displayed in front of the Capitol building for the holiday season.

System Transport transported the 84-ft. White Fir, nicknamed “Sugar Bear,” in a Kenworth T680 Next Generation, which arrived in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 19.

Get an inside look at Sugar Bear's trek across the country.

On Dec. 1, a lighting ceremony was held on the West Lawn to launch the start of the holiday season. According to the Architect of the Capitol—the Twitter account for the Capitol building—the tree will be lit from nightfall until 11 p.m. each evening through Jan. 1. 

Love’s launches 12 Days of Christmas giveaway 

Love’s Travel Stops is celebrating professional truck drivers and the holiday season with its second annual 12 Days of Christmas giveaway. Customers can enter to win prizes daily on Love’s Facebook page. For each entry made, Love’s and its vendor partners will donate $1 to the St. Christopher Truckers Fund (SCF) up to $25,000.

“We’re excited to give away some of our customers' favorite items for Love’s second annual 12 Days of Christmas,” said Mark Romig, director of merchandising for Love’s. “We’ve kicked the campaign up a notch this year with the donation to SCF, and Love’s is proud to partner with vendors to further support the life-changing work the foundation does.”

Through Dec. 7, customers can enter daily on Love’s Facebook page for chances to win items such as a Sirius XM Tour Edition radio, Garmin GPS, refurbished iPad Mini 2, and more. On Dec. 7, the grand prize of 100,000 (equivalent to $1,000) My Love Rewards points will be given away to one lucky driver.

In addition to the giveaway, each entry on Facebook will benefit fellow drivers through the St. Christopher Truckers Fund. Each time someone enters to win, Love’s and its vendor partners will donate $1 to SCF up to $25,000.

Carrier partners with The Nature Conservancy to restore natural areas

As part of a three-year, $3 million dollar commitment to the Nature Conservancy, Carrier employees recently took part in two volunteer events to help conserve natural habitats.

In central Indiana, volunteers participated in a weed wrangle, removing invasive plants from the Bitternut Woods Preserve. These harmful plants crowd out native species and greatly reduce biodiversity in the woodlands. 

In southeast Florida, Carrier volunteers participated in a beach cleanup to help restore the habitat at Blowing Rocks Preserve. Volunteers filled their collection bags with items such as plastic bottle caps and straws, disposing of 22 lb. of trash. The contribution helped beautify the beach and protect wildlife, like the sea turtles that use the preserve as a nesting beach.

Ozinga to spread community joy with The Merry Mixer

Communities in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin will enjoy a unique experience this holiday season thanks to Ozinga’s red and white striped concrete mixer, dubbed The Merry Mixer. This concrete mixer is adorned with more than 40,000 LED lights that are synchronized to 11 classic holiday tunes.

The 93-year-old construction company debuted The Merry Mixer in 2017 as a way to make a positive impact on local communities. Back then, the mixer was equipped with only 20,000 LED lights, and the show has grown every year since. Since its debut, The Merry Mixer has been a part of 96 community events, with 29 more scheduled for 2021.

Two of these events included bringing The Merry Mixer to both Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago in 2017 and Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, in 2019. The truck played the holiday light show at each of the events while children and their families sat at the windows to watch. Ozinga even donated toys to both hospitals during these visits. 

The Merry Mixer has also been a part of WGN’s Toy Drive every year since 2017. Find out the 2021 tour schedule of The Merry Mixer.

Bendix parent company funds inclusive playground in Indiana 

The Horace Mann playground is the recipient of a combined grant from Knorr-Bremse Global Care North America Inc. (KBGCNA) and Bendix Huntington to build an inclusive space for all children, including those in wheelchairs or who are affected by disabilities. 

KBGCNA, operated by Knorr-Bremse—the parent company of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems—contributed to the project with a $40,000 grant, which was enough to cover about one-fourth of the cost of the overall project. Bendix Huntington also contributed with an additional $10,000 corporate grant and helped with project oversight.

The 6,800-sq.-ft. area holds a newly installed, fully inclusive playground, the only such play structure in the Huntington area. Designed in school colors—bright red and navy blue— the play structure is fitted with equipment and surfaces to make it a fun and inviting recreational structure for all kids.  

“Knorr-Bremse Global Care North America and Bendix were thrilled to support the inclusive playground project at Horace Mann Elementary, as an effort that contributes to bringing equity to education and improving the well-being of youth in one of the areas where we operate,” said Maria Gutierrez, president of KBGCNA as well as director of corporate responsibility and sustainability at Bendix. “It’s truly gratifying to be involved with an effort like this that fills a need for the local community by giving children of all abilities access to more opportunities to learn, communicate, and play together.”  

About the Author

Catharine Conway | Digital Editor

Catharine Conway previously wrote for FleetOwner with a Master of Science in Publishing degree and more than seven years’ experience in the publishing and editorial industries. Based in Stamford, Conn., she was critical to the coordination of any and all digital content organization and distribution through various FleetOwner and American Trucker channels, including website, newsletters, and social media. 

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