Community Concepts hosts virtual ‘touch a truck’ tours


PARIS — In a quasi-return to tradition, Community Concepts is once again holding Touch a Truck, an annual community engagement project. It will be a virtual event, starting on Monday. Each day at noon, for a week, Community Concepts will host brief videos that explore different types of service and sports vehicles inside and out.

LifeFlight nurse Barrett Strout explains the instrument panels of a emergency helicopter. Supplied photo

“We started Touch a Truck in 2017,” explained Community Concept’s Communications Manager Jennifer Boenig during a ZOOM interview. “It’s a project of CC’s Prevention Council and normally it takes place at Oxford Hill’s Comprehensive High School’s parking lot.

“It’s a free event to bring families together for fun. There would be a number of different vehicles on hand and kids could explore. Cars, trucks, fire trucks and police cars. Back in 2019, the last time we were able to hold it, BOLO, Norway’s police dog, did demonstrations.

“In addition to the vehicles we would have carnival games, popcorn or some sort of food, face painting. We’d have different things to let families have some fun.”

Sophie Greene, 14, of Crazy Horse Racing in South Paris gives a tour a race car’s cockpit. Supplied photo

Last year the event was canceled outright due to COVID-19. This year the Prevention Council’s staff decided to bring back the Touch a Truck virtually. So they chose different vehicles to tour through video.

The videos will be posted on Community Concepts’ Facebook and Instagram pages, its YouTube channel and its website blog.

The vehicles Boenig has lined up are a fire truck from the Norway Fire Department, a wooden derby car built by West Paris Downhill Derby, a Pace ambulance, a stock car from Crazy Horse Racing and a heavy equipment vehicle.

Steve McCann, chairman for the West Paris Downhill Derby, talks to Jennifer Boenig of Community Concepts about the Downhill Derby. Steven McCann, 12, of West Paris stands beside his homemade wooden derby car while Ari Holland, 10, of Paris sits in a traditional derby kit car. Lisa McCann / Advertiser Democrat

Boenig interviewed the vehicle hosts as they provided their respective tours. Fourteen-year-old Sophie Green of Crazy Horse Racing showed Boenig what is under the hood of a race car and what it’s like in the cockpit.

Steven McCann, 12, of West Paris, and Ari Holland, 10, of Paris, provided a demonstration of racing derby cars, including footage of the view as they raced down the West Paris Downhill Derby Track.

“The Prevention Council supports parents through a variety of workshops and training to help navigate parenting,” Boenig said. “They work with parents one-on-one, host parenting support groups and other programs throughout Oxford County.”

To view the videos as they are released, Boenig said families should visit Community Concepts’ website at www.ccimaine.org and click-through to the organization’s social media accounts.

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