MYRTLE POINT — Children climbed, explored and even honked a horn or two on a number of construction trucks and emergency vehicles Saturday in Coos County’s first-ever “Touch-A-Truck” event in Myrtle Point.

The event, which doubled as a fundraiser for local area children and the Myrtle Point Food Bank, provided families with an opportunity to get up close and personal with dozens of trucks lined up at the Coos County fairgrounds.

A kid tries to escape from the back of a sheriff's vehicle Saturday during the "Touch-A-Truck" event at the Coos County fairgrounds in Myrtle Point.

Barbara Carter, the president of the Myrtle Point Chamber of Commerce, said there had to be hundreds of people who attended the inaugural event some of which even traveled from as far as Medford.

“It was amazing to see the field come alive with little children everywhere,” said Carter. “Kids were going inside the trucks playing with sirens and honking on horns.”

According to Carter, the idea to host the event locally came from Myrtle Point Police officer Mike Harris who she said recently moved from Portland where they held similar truck events for children.

A kid tries to escape from the back of a sheriff's vehicle Saturday during the "Touch-A-Truck" event at the Coos County fairgrounds in Myrtle Point.

While the event itself was free, folks were encouraged to bring canned goods, children’s clothing and cash donations to help provide school supplies and other assistance to kids in need. With the community’s generosity, Carter said they were able to collect over $500 in cash donations.

Volunteers are still counting all the clothing and food donations and deliveries will begin this week to both the food bank and the Myrtle Point School District, she added.

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The Myrtle Point Chamber of Commerce was joined by a number of co-sponsors, including Ace Hardware and Northwest Natural Gas to name a few. Carter thanked all those involved with the event, giving special recognition to the Myrtle Point fire and ambulance departments.  

Lucas Tison, 4, walks along the track of an excavator under adult supervision Saturday as families get a look at heavy machinery and vehicles …

With kids running around and exploring the trucks, Carter said she hopes it gets them thinking about their futures and what sort of jobs they’d like to do when they grow up.

“There was a little boy who left saying he wanted to be a police officer,” she said. “He was so excited about it he wanted to be an officer now.”

In attendance Saturday was the Coos County Sheriff’s Office, the Myrtle Point Police Department, the Myrtle Point Fire Department and the Myrtle Point Ambulance Department as well as number of local log truck drivers and construction companies showcasing their vehicles.

A firefighter retrieves a flag Saturday during a "Touch-a-Truck" event at the Coos County fairgrounds in Myrtle Point.

“It was an amazing turnout,” said Carter. “I think we’ll do it again next year.”

Folks still interested in making a donation can do so by contacting Myrtle Point City Hall at 541-572-2626, said Carter.

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Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-2039 or by email at amanda.linares@theworldlink.com.