Note: The following is an excerpt from a story written by Brett Turner appearing in the Springfield News-Sun on Aug. 14, 2018. Click here to read the complete article on the Springfield News-Sun’s site.
It has been five years and Springfield’s appetite for food trucks hasn’t let up yet.
What began as the Rotary Club’s latest fundraiser in 2014 has grown into one of the city’s most anticipated annual events and enabled the club to help more people through its charitable causes.
More than 50,000 have attended in sunshine and rain. Downpours affected the 2016 competition, but many just waited it out.
“I can’t believe it’s the fifth already,” said Rotarian and marketing chair Eddie Bell. “Food trucks are a phenomenon. Put them in a great setting like the park and people can get together and it leads to a great event.”
Whereas food trucks can be seen any day around the city, having multiple trucks in one place was a different concept when Rotarians brainstormed the idea for its main annual fundraiser, having sponsored a grand prix event downtown for years, followed by an Amazing Race.
This took things to a whole different level.
Bell said many attendees may not realize the charitable aspect behind the competition.
Among Rotary’s missions are supporting the African nation of Lesotho as well as local people with disabilities through programs including the annual dream soccer camp, spring prom and children’s Christmas party, and therapeutic rides.
In 2014 when the competition began, 486 people benefited from Rotary’s programs. By 2017-2018, that number rose to 881 through the more than $100,000 raised.