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Mayberry Days supports proposed playground

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By Amber Coulter

The whimsical fun of Mayberry Days is partnering with a good cause this year.

The April 26-27 festival in Vine Grove is hosting events to raise money for a proposed playground that could be used by all children, including those with disabilities.

The event began as an idea from Mayor Blake Proffitt, who said he often hears people comment on how similar Vine Grove is to the town of Mayberry in “The Andy Griffith Show.”

Residents are encouraged to dress up as characters from the show and participate in nostalgic fun, such as watching episodes of the show on a giant screen and competing in a checkers contest.

This year, the event at Optimist Park on Knox Avenue includes fundraising efforts to support a playground proposed by Rachel Ritchie, a third-grader at Vine Grove Elementary School. She told city council members in February there should be a place where all children can play together.

Efforts to raise money for the cause begin April 26 with an auction. Local businesses and the University of Louisville have donated items, such as dinners and a shredder, for locals to bid on to help the cause.

To donate items to the auction, call City Clerk Jackie Johnson at (270) 877-2422.

More events the next day are designed to bring in money for the project.

An assortment of carnival games are expected to be set up April 27 so children can buy tickets and play for prizes, with proceeds going to the playground.

A dunking booth including shots to plunge Proffitt and the principals of Vine Grove Elementary School and James T. Alton Middle School also will be set up that day to raise money for the playground.

Rachel plans to be at the event with some of her friends selling crafts they have made to benefit the project, and her father has said project supporters might soon begin selling T-shirts to raise money and awareness.

Rachel told council members Monday her family has been collecting donations from individuals and businesses, including a road block in March that raised $607.

At the meeting, Kathy Cornelius, community grants chairwoman for the Fort Knox Spouses and Community Club, presented Rachel with a check for $1,000 for the project.

City events coordinator Donna Broadway said the idea has drawn a lot of support in the area.

“Everybody just loves it. Everybody that hears about it wants to be part of it and wants to help,” she said. “Just about everybody wants to get involved.”

Broadway thinks enthusiasm for the project and cooperation have developed a win-win situation in which Mayberry Days will be fun and charitable this year.

“I love it when everybody works together for a cause and has a good time at the same time,” she said.

Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.

IF YOU GO:

Friday, April 26

5 p.m. until dark – Dress in Mayberry attire and Across Kentucky Arts & Crafts show and food booths.

6:30 p.m. - Rachel’s “Fun For Everyone Playground” auction.

Dark - Episodes from “The Andy Griffith Show” played on a giant screen.

Saturday, April 27

9 a.m.-6 p.m. – Across Kentucky Arts & Crafts show, food booths and bouncy house.

9 a.m.-4 p.m. - Knights of Columbus car show. Registration from 9 a.m. to noon.

9 a.m.-1 p.m. – Carnival games to benefit the playground.

10 a.m.-1 p.m. Vine Grove Woman’s Club dunking booth to benefit the playground.

10 a.m.-1 p.m. – Checker contest.

10 a.m.-1 p.m. – Mayberry trivia.

10 a.m.-3 p.m. – Mayberry look-alike contest.

10 a.m. – The Vine Grove Homemakers cake walk.

1-3 p.m. – the Woulf Bros on stage.