A grassy fairground venue, 29 trucks and a beautiful day. What brought these three ingredients together? The Midwest Truckfest in Liberal, KS on August 26, 2017. The trucks at this event, for the most part, aren’t trucks you’d see at the big shows. These trucks you’ll mostly find at charity events that no one barely talks about. But, there was a caliber of rigs at this event that can rightfully compete with all the show trucks, but the only “show” most of these trucks will ever be seen at is the greatest truck show in the world – the open road.
This year marks the 3rd anniversary of the Midwest Truckfest. There are three faces behind this event: Colton and Lauren Chase and Nathan Varnes. Together, their goal every year is to grow this event but, more importantly, raise funds for the charity of their choice each year. This year went for supporting Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.). All the proceeds went to this organization, which helps the families of fallen police officers, taken too soon, in the line of duty. This is strictly a not-for-profit event, put on solely by volunteers, who see a need for raising money for charity.
Colton and Lauren opened-up their home to me, allowing me to take in the beautiful scenery and hospitality that is Kansas. I got into town Friday, August 25, 2017 to prepare for the next day’s event. The show began at 9:00 AM with trucks coming to the grounds throughout the day. These trucks all work, and most of the companies are just one- or two-truck operations. Colton and Lauren had their cool black 2002 Peterbilt 379 in attendance, along with trucks that came in from Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Everyone at this event was gracious and full of conversation. The county fair was going on during the event, so there was definitely something for everyone to do. Most folks sat out in lawn chairs and enjoyed a beautiful summer day. All the trucks were beautiful in their own right, and you saw the gleam of pride each driver had for his or her truck.
Some of the notable rigs in attendance included Preston and Desirae Gapinski from Colby, KS and their nice 2006 Peterbilt 379; Sheridan Schramm from Amarillo, TX came in after a trip with his trusty 1985 Peterbilt 359; Ben and Casey Pigg of Briscoe, TX came rolling in with their 1999 Peterbilt 379; and so many other trucks were lined-up in attendance to help the cause. As trucks got parked, they each got a 5-gallon bucket to set next to their truck. The goal? To have people put as much money in the buckets as possible. 1st through 5th place was awarded based on how much money their truck received. This year, a total of $3,467 was raised.
The winners from the show are as follows: 1st place trophy, $1,000 Dynaflex gift certificate and a hand-drawing of their truck by Brandon Clark went to Jason Jones of Turpin, OK with his classy mocha pearl 2012 Peterbilt 389, with black fenders, pulling a shiny 2017 CEI Pacer tanker trailer, which earned $1,428 in its bucket; 2nd place trophy, free truck wash and $100 gift certificate to Keating Tractor and Equipment went to Rodney Farber out of Spearman, TX with his red, white and blue 1976 Kenworth W900A, that collected $392; 3rd place trophy, free truck wash and $50 gift certificate to Keating Tractor and Equipment went to Gabe Olvera of Balco, OK with his two-tone blue 1979 Kenworth W900A, which earned $229; 4th place trophy and $25 gift certificate to Keating Tractor and Equipment went to Chase Huebner of Turpin, OK with his bright yellow 2004 Peterbilt 379, that ended up with $210 in its bucket; 5th place recipient of $25 to Keating Tractor and Equipment went to Nick Dietrick of Hooker, OK and his black 2007 Peterbilt 379, which earned $171.
Sponsors for this year’s show were Keating Tractor and Equipment of Liberal, KS with gift certificates, Evan’s Detailing and Polishing of Chilton, WI with polishing products, Ekkel Diesel Repair, who sponsored the food and truck washes, Roll Cool Customs, which did the trophies, and Brandon Clark, who donated a hand-drawn picture of the first-place truck.
This show, although small, was a success, and it will surely continue to grow. Please mark your calendar for next year’s event, which will be held on Saturday, September 1, 2018 in Liberal, KS. As the year progresses, more details will follow, so stay tuned to 10-4 Magazine for more details. Thanks to everyone who participated in this charity show and raised a good amount of money for a great cause. And, as always, for all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.