Touch a TruckA chance to get up close and hands-on with an emergency or heavy-duty work vehicle is the big attraction during Touch A Truck Day, the annual fundraising promotion at Red Bank Middle School this Saturday. (File photo by Peter Lindner) 

“Every kid stops and watches when a police car or fire engine races by,” says Heidi Zaentz, executive director of Red Bank-based Monmouth Day Care Center. “This event gives them a chance to get to know these vehicles and the men and women who work with them, while contributing to a good cause.”

The cause is the ongoing operation of MDCC, this year celebrating its 45th anniversary of service to the community. And the event is the fifth annual Touch-a-Truck Day, a September tradition in which local kids get a closer look at the vehicles they see in their neighborhoods every day.

Between 10 am and 2 pm on Saturday, September 20, the parking lot of Red Bank Middle School will once again transform into a walk-through, climb-on, get-behind-the-wheel, kids-welcome interactive display of some of the hardest working vehicles on the orad — not just ambulances and fire engines, but dump trucks and other heavy-duty construction and maintenance equipment. Children are encouraged to explore the vehicles in a safe environment, with the owners and operators are on hand to describe how the vehicles work and what kind of jobs they do.

There’s an entrance fee, priced at $12 for a family or group of four if purchased online here, or $15 if purchased at the gate on the day of the event. Included in the ticket are games, crafts and other family-friendly activities; live music and food vendors will also be on site, and chances are available for a 50/50 drawing. All proceeds benefit Monmouth Day Care Center, a non-profit facility accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.