Goodwill mission ties up traffic around Greencastle

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
A three-mile long convoy of 95 police cars involving 250 officers from New England made quite an impression in Greencastle Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 19. The convoy was headed to Virginia to help fulfill the wish of a young boy fighting cancer. They selected Greencastle as a gas stop, keeping the stations around Exit 5 of I-81 busy, and slowed traffic in the area.

Anyone who encountered slowed traffic in and around Greencastle Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 19, can know it was for a good cause.

A convoy of about 250 police officers from the New England states on its way to make a special delivery to a 6-year-old boy with brain cancer in Virginia made a gas stop in Greencastle around mid-afternoon.

The Greencastle Police Department and Pennsylvania State Police assisted with traffic for the three-mile long convoy of 95 police cars that exited Interstate 81 for fuel.

Nathan Norman, 5, of Rustburg, Va. near Richmond has brain cancer and he asked for Christmas cards from emergency responders from across the country. Burlington, Mass. Police Sgt. Gerard McDonough took the wish to a new level by hand delivering the greetings donations from numerous police agencies. Many officers joined in and the volunteer effort was launched and passed through Greencastle.

Greencastle police and the Rescue Hose Company each responded with packages for the young boy.

“While the arrival and departure of the convoy caused some traffic backlog, their mission is a noble one and exemplifies the Christmas spirit, the giving of one’s self for others,” said Greencastle Police Chief John Phillippy.

Every cruiser had a green and white ribbon, the colors of Sandy Hook Elementary School, plus the same decals that were on the New England Patriots helmets  following the school shootings.  

Following is a link to a story on the effort:

The officers met the boy at Liberty University Thursday morning. It was the largest group of officers to visit after Nathan’s story was posted on the “Wish Upon a Hero” website.

The New England area officers took Christmas bags back from Nathan to children fighting cancer in their own areas. His family has been delivering those bags to children at other hospitals over the last couple of weeks. They've made about 3,000 this year.