By Kayla Pickrell, Intern
Mark A. Sadler Trucking designs the exterior of its trucks with themes, some for support and some for awareness. The most recent design for Autism Awareness is personal for Tomi and Mark Sadler, owners of the trucking company.
Two close friends of theirs have children with autism, and the Sadlers wanted to promote awareness.
“They have touched my life in more ways than one,” Tomi said of Ryley and Bella. “They see outside the box, they see things differently.”
Since meeting Ryley and Bella, Sadler has been introduced to six other autistic children.
Both children are always at the Sadlers’ over-500-acre farm, helping out and playing along the property. The Sadlers raise cattle and grow tobacco.
The Autism Awareness truck is dark purple with three turquoise puzzle pieces on each door. Eventually, Tomi will place names in each puzzle piece.
“The puzzle pieces represent ‘Til all the pieces fit together.’” Tomi said.
Along the top of the truck is the acronym “A.U.T.I.S.M.,” which is Always Unique Totally Intelligent Sometimes Mysterious.
“If we have a truck traveling more than 3,000 miles, if we can share something or bring awareness to something, that means everything,” Tomi said.
Sadler first drew the inspiration to design trucks for awareness when Mark bought a truck that was blue.
She created a University of Kentucky truck. “I love UK, and I bleed blue,” Tomi said.
Another UK truck followed, along with breast cancer awareness, “In Memory Of,” Harley Davidson and Autism Awareness trucks.
The breast cancer awareness truck was an idea taken from the fact that three close friends are battling breast cancer. Two of which just “won the battle,” Tomi said.
“I wanted to do something for them,” Tomi said.
Ever since, Tomi has been giving each new truck a theme.
“Mark picks out the trucks, I pick out the theme,” Tomi said.
“She’s very good at coming up with ideas,” Mark added.
Although it is hard to figure out a theme before seeing the truck, Mark said Tomi already have a few themes in mind for the next truck.
“It started out something to spread the word,” Tomi said. “Now it is, what’s going to be next?”
Along with spreading awareness, the Sadlers support the local sports teams at Harrison County High School, the drug awareness program and other programs.
“We try to support our community, as well as the people in it,” Mark said. “All we’ve ever done is farmed and trucked.
“Dad always said ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’”
The Sadlers have three sons, Chance, 18, Zeb, 17, and John, 13.
“We’re a small town, a small company and just husband and wife running the business,” Tomi said. “If we were a large company with over 1,000 trucks, there is no way we would be able to do this.”