By Kitsey Burns Harrison
Despite dreary conditions, there were still plenty of smiles on the faces of kids who attended the annual Jakes Day celebration hosted by the Red Clay Longbeards chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
The event is designed to provide a fun day for area children to be able to enjoy playing outside. All children who attended received a free T-shirt as well as lunch.
At the start of the event, organizers Gary and Tammy Myers thanked everyone for coming out and offered a special thank you to landowners Jettie and Ralph Neal on whose property the event was held. Many local businesses support the event each year and Myers thanked them as well.
“I want to say thank you to each and every person who is here today,” said Tammy Myers. “Thank you for your time in volunteering and for coming out and making our Jakes Day a success.”
A number of area organizations were also on hand to share important safety information.
Children were able to shoot BB guns at a target at a booth sponsored by the North Carolina Wildlife Commission. More than just giving them a fun opportunity, however, the group said they were most interested in teaching the children the importance of gun safety.
“If you can start out young with teaching kids the importance of having safe muzzle control and being safe as a hunter, it leads to preventing future wildlife violations,” said NC Wildlife Officer Nathan Cox.
The Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office also had a booth at the event, handing out stickers, coloring books and important safety information. Officer Sharon Diaz said one topic she was sharing information on was the many internet and phone scams out there and how individuals could avoid those. As the holiday season approaches, she said there may be an increase in scams relating to charities. She suggested anyone looking to donate to a charity, visit the site CharityWatch.org to ensure that at least 75 percent of the donations received were going to the cause.
Two monster trucks and a tractor sponsored by the Red Clay Longbeards were on display and kids were able to get up close and personal to see those vehicles.
Fire trucks from the Lone Hickory Fire Department were also on display and members of the fire department were handing out safety information and goody bags for the kids.
Yadkin County Fire Marshal Ricky Leonard wowed the children with magic tricks, which also incorporated teaching fire safety.
Leonard said one of the big safety issues they were hoping to stress was the importance of having working smoke detectors, particularly in bedrooms. “Here the beep where you sleep” is the slogan this year for fire prevention and a reminder than smoke detectors should be in locations where they can be heard at all times, especially when the family is asleep.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.