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Bikes and kids: Kiwanis Bike Show builds inclusive playgrounds

Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

“Kiwanis helps kids,” Willis Johnson says matter of factly when he’s explaining why he’s involved with the organization.

It’s what they’ve done with bicycle projects, and bed projects, and home computer projects; and now it’s what they’re doing to help support inclusive play opportunities for children at the new Grayson Sports Park playground. 

The organization already has one piece of equipment that was donated to the park because of their participation in a Kiwanis contest. That equipment, a merry-go-round type ride, is recessed to be mostly flush with the ground, so children in wheelchairs or with other mobility issues can easily play with other children without impacting anyone’s experience. 

The Kiwanis would like to purchase some other equipment for the park, though, starting with a swing that allows standing children, sitting children, or children in wheelchairs – individually or in groups – to operate the swing while facing each other across an aisle. 

There are other options that could be added in the future, including jungle gyms and slide sets that can be navigated via handholds, if more money is raised. For now, though, the club is looking at the first piece of equipment, and they are looking at the generosity of the motorcycle community to begin raising the funds. 

Their first announced fundraiser for the project, the First Annual Carter County Kiwanis Club Motorcycle Show, has been scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 29, in Grayson. Participants will need to register their bikes and bring them to the parking lot of the old Ralph’s grocery, next to City National Bank, on the morning of the show.  

Registration for each bike is $20, and includes a t-shirt. Judging will go from 10 – 11:15 a.m., with People’s Choice voting from 10 – 10:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded following judging. Bikes will be judge in two classes, stock and custom, with prizes awarded in each class for oldest bike, best paint, ugliest, and the People’s Choice. 

For more information on entering your bike, or otherwise contributing to the Kids Needs Bikes playground equipment fundraiser, contact Willis Johnson at (606)255-0297 or 255-6359, or Stephanie Kidd at (606)207-6774 or 474-2578. 

The group is also planning a Kiwanis Club Poker Run event for August 14, with a rain date of August 21, with more details to follow. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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