Opus for Person-to-Person announces the ninth annual Big Rig Gig's fundraising efforts have kicked off in record speed. Through pre-sale and sponsorship securement efforts, the Big Rig Gig, a hands-on truck experience and fundraising event for the whole family, is gearing up to be a successful fundraising event.

The Big Rig Gig will feature excavators, tractors, diggers, fire engines, a brand-new race car and other larger-than-life trucks and cars. The Big Rig Gig event will take place Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Darien Town Hall.

More than $7,000 has already been raised in advance ticket sales and donations. Pre-sale incentives include a $10 savings for all families who purchase tickets before Oct. 2. Advance ticket buyers will also be entered into an exclusive raffle to win a $150 shopping spree at Learning Express.

In addition to strong advance ticket sales, the community has been generous in their donations towards this year's grocery bag initiative to help restock the Person-to-Person Emergency Food Pantry. According to Person-to-Person, the Emergency Food Pantry has seen a 37 percent increase in demand this year, which has been a challenge due to lower than expected supplies from recent food drives. More than 240 bags of groceries have been pledged by charitable donors through the Big Rig Gig's initiative. Advance ticket purchases and grocery bag donations at varying price levels may be made online by visiting www.opus4p2p.org.

Every year, local sponsors are critical to funding the Big Rig Gig. Without their continued support, the Big Rig Gig event would not be possible. This year, Ring's End Lumber signed on for the third consecutive year as the lead sponsor for the Big Rig Gig. Their commitment to the local community and their continued support of this fundraising event helps contribute to the more than 22,400 clients that benefit from Person-to-Person services annually.

"During a challenging economic environment, everyone at Opus is incredibly grateful to both our new and loyal sponsors for lending their gracious support to making this year's Big Rig Gig a success," said Betsy Wilson, Opus for Person-to-Person co-president.

"Atlantic Residential Mortgage is thrilled to support an annual event that is not only fun for the entire family, but also positively impacts local residents in need," said Michael Daversa, president and founder of Atlantic Residential Mortgage in Westport.

"Palmer's Market believes that positive change comes from within the community -- both from local businesses and residents -- and we are thrilled to partner with Opus, which continues to help create meaningful change for local families on a daily basis," said Cindy Palmer Dean, creative director for Palmer's Market.

The Big Rig Gig not only offers children of all ages the opportunity to experience their favorite trucks like never before as they climb behind the wheels of more than 20 big rigs and cool cars, but also provides kids the chance to play in the new sports area, jump on bouncy castles, ride the Roaming Railroad, explore the new Big Rig Gig Market, dance to musical entertainment by the Bossy Frog Band, meet the Bridgeport Sound Tigers mascot, get their hair painted, receive tattoos, participate in the brand-new interactive "Truck Track" game and more. Attendees will also have the opportunity to bid on exciting items from the on-site raffle and silent auction including packages from Alix Martinez Photography, Maureen Bloom's Playdates, themed birthday packages from Darien Playhouse and Darien Nature Center, Equinox Gym Fitness Packages and more.

The purpose of Opus is to support Person-to-Person through fundraising efforts and public awareness. Person-to-Person is a volunteer driven, Darien-based, community agency that, through a sharing of good and talents, responds to neighbors who lack necessities and/or resources to improve their lives. As a nonprofit agency, Person-to-Person serves more than 22,400 people annually in the greater Stamford/Norwalk area.

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