12th Annual 4XKIDS Day at
Bradford Woods/Camp Riley
Written By: John Clarke, Ret., Longtime Driver and Supporter
12th Annual 4xKids Day! 12th Annual 4xKids Day! I keep saying it and just can’t believe it has been 12 years, but it has and what a wonderful one it was this year. No rain showers this year for the 17 Jeeps and 28 helpers, but wouldn’t have made any difference to them or the campers. Everyone was so excited, it could have been snowing. Hey, what about a winter 4xKids Day? Well, maybe not.
Shay Dawson, Director of Bradford Woods, and his staff had things buzzing and
ready to go when we arrived. The course this year was our longest one to date
(40 minutes) and that made the Jeepers and campers happy for sure. Nice
graphics on the asphalt directed the way to the fun.
Once the new course had been shown to the drivers, it was time for lunch. A big
Hoosier thanks goes out to Jimmy Johnson and Doc for the outstanding buffet of
pulled pork and all the goodies to go with it. Man was it good!
Line up started about 1:00 p.m. as normal, with introductions of the drivers and helpers by Max Soliday. Then came those historical words we had all been waiting on. “Gentleman, ladies, and others. Start your engines!” The anticipation and excitement of waiting for a whole year to put smiles on all the campers was here.
For the next four plus hours, it was nothing but pure fun had by one and all. The campers couldn’t wait. One of the counselors that had just arrived the previous Tuesday for his first time at helping at Camp Riley said he was asked almost immediately by one of the campers “Is it Jeep day today?” He replied, “No, it’s not until Saturday.” So this was as big of a day for the campers as it was for all the Jeepers and helpers.
Then as the day started coming to a close, came one of the more humbling times for the drivers and helpers, the presentation of the thank you notes the campers made especially for us. This always seems to get to us all and makes us realize, we did something good today.
BUT, this event is not over without us giving back to Camp Riley for their future with a check presentation, and it was a biggie. For the past several years Fat Boys Jeepers has been working towards a goal to enable Camp Riley to build a Universal Low Ropes Course for the campers. There have been too many hours to count put in by too many people to mention in order we could reach the check presentation today to top the day off. This year a check for $10,000.00 was presented getting us up to the $35,000 plus mark to date, which Shay Dawson says will build a great course. WOW!
Of course none of this over the 12 years would have been possible without a lot of outside support from our sponsors of all our events. The kids loved the event t-shirts this year. Several of the drivers even had the kids sign their t-shirt for a permanent souvenir of the day. The kids got a real kick out of someone asking for their autograph. But those shirts are all thanks to our great group of sponsors for 2014 (listed below). Hope to see all of you again next year!
Richmond Casting Company
First Bank of Richmond
Hi-Lift Jack Company
ITD Engineering. LLC
Iron Horse 4x4’s
Randy & Joanna Brooks Foundation
Bob & Becky Kevoian
Campbell Scramble – Joyce Fuller
Scott & Betsy Sperling
Off Road Trail Rods
Meyer Distributing, Inc.
Willys Jeep Rally
Clover Patch, Inc.
Jeff’s Snowplowing, LLC
Mama & Papa Roux Po-Boys and Cajun Eats
Sandi McCoy’s Pandemonium
Jimmy Johnson & Doc – Food Guys