Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kid-powered carnival raises money for library

And in the heartwarming, feel-good category, this story of children making the most of summer break for themselves, their friends and a worthy cause:

A group of children in the Sherwood Heights neighborhood in Pendleton proved in August 1964 that not all their leisure time during the summer is spent in idleness and looking for trouble. The children set up a three-day carnival on Southwest Nye Avenue, complete with games, pony rides and prizes, with all proceeds benefiting the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library and CARE.

The idea was the brainchild of Robby Collins and Sally Cook, both 13. They started several days ahead of the carnival canvassing the neighborhood for castoff toys and playthings to use as prizes, repairing them as needed. Once the prizes were in order, they selected the Cook home at 3110 S.W. Nye Ave. as the site for their carnival. It was an ideal location, with a large empty lot for the pony rides and next door to Sherwood Heights School, where many of the neighborhood children played.

The group, which included Sally Hobbs, 13; Sandy Cook, 11; Kim Collins, 8; Sharon Cook, 9; Carol Crump, 11; Michelle Magnuson, 7; Mike Collins, 10; and a pony named Sam, used old packing crates for booths and a blanket tent for the fortune teller.

The popularity of the event was obvious, as Roy Cook’s lawn was covered in bicycles for three days. The promoters took in $5 each of the first two days, and were going to continue on the third until the prizes ran out. Most youngsters came away from the carnival smiling and clutching prizes, a testament to the ingenuity and generosity of their peers.

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