Turtle race raises $,3500 for program
Children kept their eyes on their turtles Saturday at Tonganoxie's city pool.
Water from a fire hose pushed hundreds of bobbing green plastic turtles across the water as bikini-clad helpers wrangled the turtles in the right direction.
It was a fund-raiser for the Leavenworth County Infant-Toddler Services' tiny-K program, and from all appearances it was a success.
"I think it was great," said Dawn O'Brien, director of tiny-K. "There were more people than I had anticipated."
And, she noted there was a larger attendance at Saturday's event than there had been at the one a year ago.
The proceeds were good too, with a preliminary count estimating that the event raised about $3,500, which will help support the tiny-K program.
The tiny-K program offers physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and early childhood therapy in children's homes for children who are younger than 3.
Watching the festivities, which included a picnic and the chance to draw on a cardboard castle, were a dozen or so families that have been served by tiny-K.
Jenny and Jason Sparks, who live in Tonganoxie, brought their two daughters, Allyson and Caidance.
Caidance, who is 5 months old, was born three months prematurely. At birth she weighed 2 pounds, 12 ounces.
"Dawn comes out and does all the evaluations twice a month," Jenny said. "She checks her growth, motor skills, social skills and works on physical therapy."
Jenny said the service has been invaluable.
"It gives me reassurance," Jenny said. "They're trained. They know what my baby needs and how she's developing. They help us help her."