By Mike Lauterborn
(for Westport News)
Westport, CT – A bulldozer. A cement mixer. Logging truck. Steam roller. Backhoe. Fire truck.
These were but a few of the 37 vehicles onsite at Coleytown Elementary School Saturday morning participating in the 6th Annual Touch-A-Truck Event benefiting Westport Weston Cooperative Nursery School. Hundreds of families attended, to climb in and out of the vehicles as well as take advantage of a bounce house, facepainting, a Little Gym class, Shaolin Studios kung fu demo and a Roaming Railroad train ride around the school property. Admission was $20 per family, who received a goody bag and miniature toy truck.
“Funds go towards the whole operating budget and help run the nursery school,” said Maureen Asiel, the public relations coordinator for the event. “It’s a progressive school for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds with a parent-run board. Part of being involved in the school is giving time to events like this, so all our volunteers here are parents and teachers at the nursery school.”
The event’s major sponsors included AuPair in America, East Coast Irrigation, The Fresh Market and Women’s Health Care of New England. About a dozen local businesses also provided support.
One of the school parents, Elana Faiman, from Weston, said, “The great thing about the event is that the kids get to climb in and on all the vehicles, which is lots of fun for them. Funny enough, the school bus is one of the most popular. The boys also love the backhoe and the husbands like the cupcake truck. There’s something for everyone, it’s a great cause for the school and we all have an opportunity to get together.”
Tom Maloney, from Ridgefield, attending with his son Lachlan, 3, enjoyed the train ride and were checking out the cement mixer. “We were here last year,” said Maloney. “Lachlan loves checking out all the trucks and it’s a great way to spend some time with him while raising money for the school.”
When Lachlan was asked to name his favorite vehicle, he said, “I love the road roller (steam roller)!”
Another area parent, Laura Silver, attending from Greenwich with her son Blake, 2, said, “I’m happy to support the local community and be part of a fun event… for all ages.”
Laurie Roda, owner of Compo Limousine, which supplied an eight-passenger stretch for the event, was glad to provide access to her vehicle. “This is the first year I’m participating,” she said. “It’s fun to see the kids interacting with all the different vehicles and it’s a great way for me to support the cause while getting some exposure for my business, too.”
Trumbull Motorcycle Officer John Threshie, who had brought his Harley patrol bike, was a veteran of the event. “We’ve been here several years,” he said. “The kids have a blast, though sometimes they’re a little afraid of the bike. I wish they had something like this when I was a kid.”
Westport firefighter Michael Grasso, who was trying his best to stay warm while giving tours of the department’s Engine 7 pumper truck, said, “This is fun and I get to educate the public about the truck and more of what we do as far as services. It’s a little cold but people are showing up nonetheless.”