Continuing a cycle of giving, the Elkin High School Interact Club announced Tuesday it would be raffling off chances for the kayak it won through the Elkin Valley Trails Association Duck and Turtle Regatta.
Over the next several weeks, $5 will purchase the opportunity to participate in this continued pattern of giving as the Interact Club raises money for the Elkin Valley Trails Association, which, with the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club, sponsor the regatta.
Joining Interact officers Zara Petrocy, Arwen Shoemaker, Missy Fuentes and Jessica Eldridge with advisor Leslie Hooper in the parking lot of Elkin High School were the individuals that began this circle of giving.
“Paul Carter [of Yadkin River Adventures] donated the kayak to the EVTA to raffle off during the Duck and Turtle Regatta race,” said Hooper, explaining Bill Blackley of the EVTA had purchased several chances on behalf of others.
“I didn’t want to win the prize,” said a beaming Blackley.
“I got an email from Dr. Blackley about a week ago saying Interact won the grand prize. I couldn’t get the smile off of my face because I could not wait to tell the students that we had acquired this kayak,” said Hooper.
Although the adults thought they could put the names of the kids in a hat and draw a winner, the students had more generous plans.
“We opened it up to the students and asked them what they thought and what they wanted to do,” said Hooper, claiming a student immediately suggested it be raffled again.
“I said OK then what are we going to do with the money and they said give it back to the EVTA,” she said, explaining the idea did not come from officers.
“I am impressed,” said Elkin City Schools Superintendent Dr. Myra Cox. “I think the idea of the students giving back to the community says it all and that’s what impresses me the most.”
“It was completely the students who decided to do the raffle,” said Hooper, “and another student suggested giving it back to the EVTA.”
“This is totally different [than] what we [usually] do with the trails,” said Blackley of the organization responsible for the upkeep and enhancement of the local trails including building new sections.
“We always focus on an objective,” he said. “So we’re never raising money unless we know what we’re going to spend it on. We have two more crossings coming in the next year… and we’re going to be going almost a mile more upstream [from the Elkin Recreation Center] so thank you all.”
Knowing there are a multitude of projects that need attention as well as funds, Blackley was particularly appreciative of the adults who made the continued giving possible as well as the students who decided to keep it going.
“The credit [for starting it] is to Paul Carter,” said Blackley, “who has for four years in a row voluntarily and without any coercion at all chased us down and said, ‘I want to make sure this happens,’ and has given us a kayak. He deserves a huge amount of credit.”
Blackley also credited EVTA and Rotary member Joe Hicks for making the Duck and Turtle Regatta possible.
“Joe deserves a huge amount of credit for giving a lot of his hours and time and energy and thought [to the regatta],” said Blackley. “Without Joe ‘Beaver’ Hicks, the Duck and Turtle Regatta would not be human possibly.”
Blackley stated it spoke highly of Hicks’ relationships with others that he was able to collect 44 prizes for this year’s regatta which helped sell more than 900 chances.
“Every Saturday he, at least, and sometimes with other people would go to the [Elkin] Farmers Market and sell raffle tickets for that thing,” said Blackley, who was also seen at the market, “and all of that goes to service for the community.”
“We each got $2,300 out of it this year with our shares,” said Hicks, explaining the Rotary used its share for local scholarships and, “of course our money goes back into the trails and places. Maybe to ride this [kayak] down the stream up here one day.”
Opportunities to participate in this continued circle of giving are expected to continue.
“We hope to generate interest by having [the kayak] here at the school,” said Hooper. The students also plan to sell chances at the home football games with the winner chosen after Oct. 27.
“Particularly they were interested in the East Wilkes [game]. It’s a big rivalry and a big night for us since it’s senior night so the sky’s the limit really.”
For more information, contact the Elkin High School office at 336-835-3858.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.