Special needs party held
Photo from Tonya Patrick Damron
SALYERSVILLE – The community came together over the weekend to make one special day for a very special group.
The second-annual Special Needs Summer Blowout, hosted by the Salyersville Masonic Lodge #769, was held at North Magoffin Elementary on June 29, with 71 special needs children and 15 adults attending a day held just for them.
Paul Montgomery, with the local Masonic lodge, told the Independent it was a great day, noting how the community came together to make the super hero-themed day even more special.
“Batman, Spiderman and Captain America were there, we had games, bouncy houses, face painting, a guy with the Shriners from Louisville came and made animal balloons, Jenna Bailey, April Arnett and Amy Back gave anyone who wanted it free haircuts, a couple of local pizza places donated the pizza and several sponsors chipped in on making the T-shirts. It was a fun day.”
Dr. Richard Connelley rented the bouncy house and the Salyersville Kiwanis did train rides. The local police and fire departments brought their trucks and cruisers, which Montgomery said the kids really enjoyed, but the Batmobile and Spiderman Mobile probably received the most attention.
“The community really came together for this,” Montgomery said. “Businesses came to me, wanting to donate. The high school kids were amazing. They treated the kids with respect. I can’t say enough about the high school kids that donated their time that day. They were remarkable.”
The high school students helped lead the participants to the various activities and make sure everyone had a good time, making them feel extra special.
“One little feller when he was leaving told all of us, ‘You’re all my friends, now,’” Montgomery remembered. “Another boy was led around all day by this high school girl and you could tell he was stepping high and feeling like he was something. They took a selfie together and he asked her if she had a boyfriend and she said, ‘Yeah.’ He told her to send that to her boyfriend to make him jealous!”
Montgomery emphasized the importance of the party for the participants.
“Everyone laughed and ran and played, and when they left, the ones that could talk were all thanking us,” Montgomery said. “They had a good time and these are kids that don’t get to go anywhere. No one invites them to go anywhere, but this one day a year they get to have it all be about them.”
Montgomery also told the Independent the Masonic lodge will be gearing up soon for Coats for Kids donations. Each year they work with the family resource directors at each of the five schools in the county and provide $100 for each student to spend on what they need for the winter. Last year they were able to spend $9,500 on Magoffin County students in need.