By Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
The Carter County Kiwanis Club’s First Annual Jeep show raised over $1,800 for the installation of a handicap accessible swing at the sports park. But it was a generous donation from the local carpenters’ and millwrights’ union hall that really brought the swing addition a step closer to reality.
Jerry Yates, with the Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (IKORCC) – and a Carter County Kiwanis Club board member – presented the group with a check for $5,000 toward the cost of the playground equipment during the awards presentation last Sunday.
Together, the total brings them $6,800 closer to their $52,000 + goal for the swing project.
Yates, whose union members also helped create trophies for the event from old pistons, said this was a way for the union to reach out, but added it was also personal for him. His younger brother, he explained, would have benefited from playgrounds that allowed him to play and socialize with other children his age.
“This is the IKORCC getting involved in our local communities to try and help anyway we can,” Yates said. “What better way than to help support those who need it the most – like children who want nothing more than to be able to play just like all the children?”
“Not only do we want to help as an organization,” he continued, “but it’s also personal.”
“I had a ten-year-old brother who passed away in ’91,” Yates recalled. “Shannon was a very smart, fun-loving nine-year-old who developed a tumor that caused him to be paralyzed from the neck down.”
“I remember him in a wheelchair, saying how one day he would play again,” Yates said. “This is why being a Kiwanis member is special to me – to help handicap children play again.”
That’s what participants in the First Annual Jeep Show were supporting as well. All the money raised at the Jeep Show was earmarked for the Kiwanis’ inclusive swing project. That swing, which includes wheelchair access, will allow children of all ability levels to play together on the same piece of equipment.
Of course, they won trophies for their efforts too.
Taking home the People’s Choice Award was Mike Back. Tommy Crabtree took Best of Show. Carson Caudill won for Best Old School. Steve Cashion won in the Military class and Adam Rucker in the Gladiator class.
In the CJ group the winner was Dustin Bostich, YJ winner was Tim Bush, TJ was Darrion Walker, JK was Tom Perry, and JL was Sherry Wallace.
In addition to the generosity of the IKORCC, the event was supported by event sponsors with Pure Country Automotive and Carter Auto Parts.
Carter County Kiwanis Club President Stephanie Kidd wished to express her gratitude to all of the events co-sponsors for help with making it a success.
“All of their contributions are greatly appreciated,” Kidd said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”
That included, she noted, volunteers from among her own employees at City National Bank who worked with Kiwanis Club members to help run the show.
In addition to herself, Kidd said, volunteers with the bank included Christa Hargraves, Jami Horton, and Cindy Suttles.
“Their help was indispensable,” Kidd said.
Willis Johnson, who also serves on the Kiwanis Board, noted that while the equipment is costly, it is designed to be added seamlessly to the existing playground and to handle the type of wear and tear that regular use will place upon it.
If you are interested in joining the Kiwanis, or contributing to the playground equipment or other Kiwanis projects, you can contact Kidd at City National Bank or Johnson at the Grayson City Building.
You may also check the events calendar of the Carter County Times for date, time, and location of Kiwanis Club meetings.
Contact the writer at email@example.com