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Paddlefest rakes in $16,600 for Kids of Community
Paddlefest - Jason Walker.jpg
Sheriff’s Department Major Jason Walker pulls Junior Ramirez out to the middle of the Barren Fork River on Saturday so he can begin his Paddlefest kayak trip.

Paddlefest wasn’t just a fun day on the river. The totals are in and the annual event raised $16,600 for Kids of the Community.

“We’re eternally grateful to all the sponsors in our community who helped us raise so much money,” said Kids of the Community program coordinator Blair Fisher.

Several children with the program got the privilege of floating the river Saturday with law enforcement officers from the Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Tommy Myers himself was even on hand to watch as the group launched from Pepper Branch Park and began a trip down the Barren Fork River.

“It’s always great to help out Kids of the Community,” said Sheriff Myers. “I enjoyed working with the kids and all the volunteers on Saturday. It is also great to have employees volunteer. Major Walker, Sgt. Gary Kemper, Dep. Brystol Davis, and Dep. Jason Richardson did a great job and had a lot of fun floating with the kids.”

Kids of the Community provides a number of activities for local children after school and during summer months. On Tuesday, a group visited NHC to sing to residents.

“They sang from the courtyard and the residents were able to listen by opening their windows,” said Fisher, noting that type of activity allowed them to be COVID compliant. “We want to show them at an early age it’s important to give back.”

Kids of the Community has planted a garden outside its facility on Cadillac Lane. The group has also gone bowling and is planning an upcoming trip to a Nashville water park.

“It was the first time bowling for many of them,” said Fisher. “We want to make sweet memories.”

Kids of the Community executive director Barry Dishman praised volunteer Pam Pescevic for her work in organizing Paddlefest at Saturday’s event. Pescevic is an avid kayaker, having been on her kayak for 957 consecutive days.