By Jami Makan
Kam-Way Transportation is partnering with Washington State Patrol (WSP) to feature missing children on the sides of its semi-trailers.
Kam-Way, a trucking company based in Blaine, has decided to get involved in the Homeward Bound project, a WSP initiative that is dedicated to raising public awareness about missing children. The goal of the program is to increase exposure by partnering with trucking companies, whose trucks’ high visibility on the road can help locate missing children.
“Our equipment presents a moving billboard of visibility, and if we can recover even just one child, it’s so worth the time and resources invested in the program,” said Laurie Glavin, a Kam-Way employee who recently assisted in reviving the project.
The Homeward Bound project dates back to 2005, when WSP trooper Renee Padgett came up with the idea. The first trailer was unveiled in 2006 by Gordon Trucking. The project came to a halt when Gordon Trucking was bought out by Heartland Express in 2013, and Padgett passed away in 2018 after a long battle with cancer.
Glavin previously worked for Gordon Trucking, and although she wasn’t directly involved in the project, she respected and appreciated what the program stood for. When she was hired at Kam-Way in early 2018, she asked her supervisors if they would donate trailers to be used to feature photos of missing children if she could partner with WSP and revive the program. They agreed without hesitation and encouraged Glavin to move forward.
“WSP and I connected mid-summer and began collaborating to bring the program back,” said Glavin. “Our first two trailers were unveiled on January 23, 2019.”
Kam-Way has released four trailers to date featuring two children, Teekah Lewis and Misty Copsey. This month, Kam-Way will release three more trailers featuring Alyssa McLemore. McLemore went missing from Kent, Washington on April 9, 2009. Her last known contact was a distressed phone call she made to 911 screaming out for help.
Through the Homeward Bound project, WSP chooses who will be featured on the sides of trailers, while Kam-Way donates the trailers and incurs the cost of the graphics placed on the trailers. Both entities share the common goal of recovering missing children and reuniting them with their loved ones. “We want to bring renewed hope to the families who have had their loved ones go missing,” said Glavin.
WSP decided to highlight McLemore’s case for a number of reasons. “Her family reached out to Washington State Patrol, she’s of a Native American background and we need to bring more focus on that group and the length of time she’s been missing,” said Glavin. “We are hoping the trailers featuring her pictures will help generate new information about her case.”
Kam-Way Transportation employs 65 people in Blaine. In addition to working with WSP on this project, Kam-Way is also partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Truckers Against Trafficking. All four groups were expected to be present for an unveiling of Kam-Way’s latest trailer featuring McLemore at the Temple of Justice building in Olympia on June 5.