Cancer sucks! It is heart wrenching to watch those we love go through it and, on a different spectrum, to see children have to endure it. The Shine in the Pines Truck Show is an annual charity event to help raise money for local children who are going through cancer as a way to support them and continue promoting hope. This year, everyone in attendance was encouraging Emma, letting her and her parents know we all care, while continuing to pray for her recovery.
As loved ones and patients have experienced, there is no preparation for a diagnosis of cancer. Waves of emotions surround everyone, and tears inevitably will flow. This was no different for Emma Hinson and her parents, Chastity and Freddie. Emma was diagnosed with Stage 3 High Risk Neuroblastoma in December 2017. With an inoperable large abdominal tumor encasing several major blood vessels, little Emma went through four long rounds of high-dose chemotherapy, but the tumor did not respond well to the treatment.
Travel plans were made to go to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York to see Dr. Michael LaQuaglia, the leading Neuroblastoma surgeon in the world. Dr LaQuaglia was able to remove 100% of Emma’s tumor. Upon receiving her final round of chemotherapy and radiation, Emma was declared cancer free in July of 2018. Unfortunately, a routine follow-up scan on April 4, 2019 showed the cancer had returned in her left hip and right femur. Treatment was resumed at Egleston’s Hospital in Atlanta, GA where she got more chemo and immunotherapy. Another trip to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center was made in July to begin further treatment, which will take up to two years to complete.
Held in part as a fund-raiser for Emma, the 3rd annual Shine in the Pines Truck Show took place February 27-29, 2020 at the Southern Pines Recreation Center in Dublin, GA. The weather report had shown no rain during the show and temperatures in the 50s, which was much cooler than the experienced 70s at the 2019 show. The cooler temperatures didn’t deter attendees from coming to the show nor the drivers who registered their trucks to compete. A few trucks came in on Thursday to get parked, and then a few more trickled in on Friday.
Thanks to a cool wind, Friday felt cooler than it really was. Those who showed up on Friday had the time to socialize with one another before the main day of the event took place on Saturday, February 29th. Largecar Life and Dexter Meat Company joined forces to bring a pig roast to those in attendance Friday evening. This pig roast was done to raise money for Emma, with donations made prior to the dinner. Largecar Life was founded on the premise of bringing back a brotherhood to the southeast, where help and support is near, and the idea of how drivers should treat each other and help where possible. Dexter Meat Company in Dexter, GA has been in business for over 15 years, bringing top-tier quality meats and unparalleled customer service, in addition to providing all your event catering needs.
We all thought Friday was windy, but that did not prepare us for Saturday. Fortunately, the wind helped dry Friday night’s rain, and as most who live around here know, we really needed the wind to dry up some of the flooding that took place within the last week or so leading up to the show. By 11:00 AM everyone was parked and set and, other than the wind, it turned out to be a great day.
“Dude With The Food” was on site to feed those in attendance at the event for a reasonable price, as well as another food truck, serving up some good dessert items. Throughout the day, ticket stub numbers were called out for various raffle prizes and DJ Dream kept the music flowing all day long. While some kids enjoyed the bounce houses, the braver ones took turns riding the mechanical bull, including Gracie Anderson out of Reidsville, GA. Diesel Life was on display again this year with their truck in the bobtail class, as well as a booth set up to sell their apparel. South GA Tools of Alamo, GA were on site, as well, with a booth set up with plenty of shiny stuff.
At this event, I was able to see some great friends, including a fellow truck addict, Ms. Nikki, who owns Brief Escape in Reidsville (this place is a must-try with amazing food and atmosphere), Daniel and Amy Anderson with their three children and their 379 Rosie, and Kenny Wilson with his FLC120 (which I featured last month). I also got to visit with Ben and Mandy Cadle and check out their 1982 Freightliner cabover, Phillip Sparks of DeYoungs Towing, JT Mercier and his family, along with his black W900, and others I had the opportunity to meet for the first time. A few of the rides that drew in extra attention were Dean Friday’s good-lookin’ black and white 2017 Peterbilt 389, Hugh Dekle’s big house black 2000 Peterbilt 379 and Ryan Mahans’ fully customized white 2006 International 9900 with an interior that looked as good as the exterior. Not to discount any of the other trucks in the show, because I would have a difficult time trying to pick a favorite.
Around mid-afternoon, the silent auction began as the last of the raffle numbers were called. Macy Johnson won $18 by guessing the correct number of crayons (288) in a jar, which she then handed over to Emma and her parents. “Dude With The Food” raffled off a few items, including a set of train horns, and donated a total of $300 to Emma’s family, while Dexter Meat Company and Largecar Life rallied together from Friday night’s meal to raise $800 for Emma’s family. The show itself raised about $4,000 for the Hinson Family. The kindness, support and generosity left everyone a bit emotional at the end of the awards ceremony, especially after hearing Emma’s parents speak.
Closing out the show on Saturday at sunset, all the truckers that wanted to participate, lined up and drove around the loop of the recreation center with a display of lights and horns. Special thanks from the show producers go out to Sweet Onion Truck Center, Sikes Brothers, TNT Parts, Louis’ Truck Wash and Chrome Store, Largecar Life, Pilot Flying J, Y96 Hot Country Hits, South GA Tools, Sully Knows Financing, Woody Folsom CDJR and Dekles Diesel Repair for their sponsorships and donations to make this year’s show a success.
As with last year, this show didn’t disappoint. With beautiful trucks and familiar faces, being a smaller truck show, it was nice to be able to take the time to visit with everyone. Since moving to Georgia, this show is easily a show I will attend every year. Keep a lookout on the Shine in the Pines Facebook page for the announcement of their 2021 show dates. Thoughts, prayers and well wishes from everyone at the show go out to the Hinson Family, and I know everyone will be cheering for and encouraging Emma. As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.