High winds were not enough to subdue spirits Saturday night, but it certainly had an impact on Cardboard City. Participants got a real taste of what it might be like to be homeless, if only for a few hours as they huddled in their boxes trying to keep sheltered from chilling wind gusts that reached approximately 19-24 mph, according to the Beaufort Method.
Alan Parsons from the Abstract Church received first place in the decorating contest for his rendition of Superman and his telephone booth. Second place went to last year’s winners, the Nowalk family for Snoopy’s Doghouse. The Elkin Presbyterian Youth took third place with its village of cardboard box homes.
Jane Motsinger, board member for The Ark and chief coordinator for Cardboard City, which occurs every year the Saturday before Thanksgiving, said she wanted to thank the judges who are “all artists in their own right. They’re all creative, and they all have fun.”
Motsinger also expressed gratitude for the Food Science class at Elkin High School for chicken soup and Ruth Evans for potato and corn chowder. The “soup kitchen” helped keep participants warm giving them another taste of life as a homeless person.
“It’s a great organization that does so much for our community,” said James Freeman, who was happy to be participating, pointing out that homelessness is not just a problem in big cities.
Visitor Mary Gayle Golden enjoyed seeing the creative boxes. “It’s clever,” stated Golden. “It’s a neat idea. I’m glad it’s not raining.”
Elkin Presbyterian youth leaders Sybil Myers and Jennifer Weddington were also glad the weather wasn’t worse. “The kids really got on board with it,” said Weddington, explaining that it was Jane Riley’s idea for them to participate.
Caroline Alley (12) and Rebecca Kreh (15) agreed. Kreh stated, “It’s a really good way to earn money for the cause and it gives people a taste of what it’s like to be in the cold.”
On Saturday night alone, nearly $10,000 was raised for The Ark with an overall total of $20,000 in pledges, quilt rows sold before Saturday and other fundraising activities connected to Cardboard City. Donations for The Ark are always being accepted. For more information, go to www.thearkelkin.org or call 336-527-1637.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.