O&G Industries held its third annual Touch a Truck event on Saturday morning, May 6, at its South Main Street Maintenance Facility. An estimated 2200 visitors attended the event.
This popular community outing is the culmination of the company’s annual Safety Week. Safety Week training and awareness activities are held at every O&G job site and facility across Connecticut.
Touch a Truck is a company outreach tailored to families, giving children the opportunity to explore heavy equipment and participate in a variety of activities. In addition to more than 40 different pieces of construction equipment for visitors to explore, Torrington Fire and Police Departments and area businesses with specialized vehicles brought them to the event.
A family hay ride, face painting, coloring books featuring construction equipment, toy hard hats and displays by area nonprofits rounded out the event.
Nonprofits exhibiting at Touch a Truck included Torrington’s KidsPlay Museum, the Northwest Connecticut YMCA, the Mattatuck Museum, Torrington PAL, The Elks Club, the Lions Club, the United Way of Northwest Connecticut, the Rail Museum of New England, The Little Guild and Girl Scouts.
“It was another well-attended and well-organized event,” said Officer Tony Pietrafesa who heads the city’s Community Relations Section. “The event gives our Police Department the opportunity to reach out to young people and adults from all over Northwest Connecticut. I think the adults enjoyed sitting in our cruiser and seeing our police Segway, other vehicles and S.W.A.T. gear just as much as the kids.”
Justin Vagliano of The Little Guild, an animal rescue and adoption center in Cornwall, looked forward to the event. “For us, Touch a Truck was really was not an adoption event per se. It was more about letting the community know who we are and reconnecting with some of our past adoptive owners. It was about our volunteers and the dogs just participating in a family event, which is a focus of ours. Seeing so many folks relating to the dogs was great. It was also great for us to see all those kids doing what kids are supposed to be doing – climbing, beeping horns, turning steering wheels. It was a tremendous family event.”
“To see the smiling faces on all those young kids made the preparation worthwhile,” said Jim Zambero, V.P. Equipment for O&G and one of the event’s organizers. “I know that was the attitude of the owners, too: it’s all about the kids. But I’ll tell you, it looked like a lot of the grownups were having as good a time as the kids!”
All proceeds were donated to the nonprofit agencies of the United Way of Northwest Connecticut.
Next year’s Touch a Truck promises to include even more activities and large equipment for visitors to interact with. It will be held in early May at the same location. The O&G website, ogind.com, will have schedule details.