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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College
MSC Southeast

Contact: Katryn Conlin, Communications Director
Minnesota State College Southeast
651-385-6364 (dial 1 first if calling from the Twin Cities)
612-229-5659 cell

For Immediate Release/MEDIA ADVISORY

91-year-old assisted living resident to drive 18-wheeler for the first time, fulfill dream

"I've always been fascinated with big trucks"

Louise SpencerWinona, MN (August 24, 2016) -- Just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday, assisted living resident Louise Spencer plans to tick off one of her "bucket list" items: driving an 18-wheel tractor-trailer truck.

Louise, who lives at Chandler Place in the Twin Cities, says she has always dreamed of getting behind the wheel of a big rig. Her late husband was an over-the-road trucker for 30 years, but she had never driven one herself.

"I've always been fascinated with big trucks. Tons of steel and rubber barreling down the highway. Beautiful!" says Louise. "What would we do without trucks? They are so important to our everyday life."

When Webb Weiman heard about her dream, he knew he could help make it come true. His California based non-profit, Jump!, helps seniors achieve what's left on their bucket lists and inspires them to reach for their dreams.

Webb's first challenge was to find a truck and someone who could teach Louise how to drive it. He contacted Minnesota State College Southeast truck driving instructor Tom Gierok in Winona and together they made plans for Louise to visit the college campus and get behind the wheel of a big rig.

On September 2, Tom will teach Louise how to drive an 18-wheel tractor-trailer truck. Tom is confident that he'll have her driving independently before the afternoon is over.

"Even though we can't get her out on the open road, she'll have plenty of room to drive on the MSC Southeast truck driving range," according to Gierok, who has taught thousands of students in his long career at the college. "If you have a dream or a wish and you're willing to pursue it, you can do anything. I feel so fortunate to be part of this."

Webb Weiman and his video crew will document the experience for a short film to be posted on "Louise Spencer is a wonderful inspiration to her peers and to those of us who look at aging with some trepidation," he says. "Louise shows us that there is definitely life beyond the rocking chair."

Katie Westberg, National Director of Life Enrichment for The Goodman Group, management company of Chandler Place, agrees. "At 91 years old, Louise teaches us that there are no boundaries to learning a new skill or crossing items off our bucket lists. At Chandler Place assisted living community, we feel fortunate to partner with Jump! and Minnesota State College Southeast to help Louise fulfill her lifelong dream!"


News media are invited to cover this event.

Date: Friday, September 2, 2016
Time: 1:30 - 4 pm
Location: Truck Driving Range
Minnesota State College Southeast
1250 Homer Road, Winona, MN

  • Due to Louise's age and stamina, a limited number of press interviews with her may be scheduled by appointment between 1:30 and 2:30 pm at MSC Southeast on September 2. 
  • Tom Gierok, Webb Weiman, and Katie Westberg will also be available for interviews on-site. 
  • In addition, interviews may be scheduled before or after the event.

Media Contacts for arranging interviews: 

Minnesota State College Southeast
Katryn Conlin

651-385-6364 (dial 1 first if calling from the Twin Cities)
6121-229-5659 cell

Chandler Place/The Goodman Group
Lauren Meintsma


Sydney Weisman



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RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987
COLLEGE PHONE | 507-453-2700 | 877-853-8324

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment based on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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