By Beverly Keller
It was a chilly day under the tent that forced some wooly worms to simply curl up and try to get to warm. However, students from Flat Ridge Elementary were up to the challenge.
They clapped. They blew. They hoped. And slowly but surely the worms crawled up the strings as the classes cheered. During the final heat, the chants for students like Jason Miller from his fellow first-graders were loud and at a steady pace which caused a smile to spread across the young boy’s face.
Serious replies about how to care for said wooly worms once they were located included advice on food that included goat feed, grass and mom’s apple pie. And sure enough, a peek into the container housing that worm, in particular, revealed a chunk of apple pie.
One young lady shared that her worm was going to win because he had coffee grounds for breakfast. However, he was anything but cooperative about climbing the rope and was replaced with a substitute worm that the folks at Keim Lumber who ran the contest had on hand in a backup container just for such an event.
Heat winners included: Martha Yoder – Grade Four with Allie; Debra Yoder – Grade Four with Freckles; Jordan Mast – Grade Three with Tintin; Carrie Yoder – Grade Three with Pumpkin Pie; Mark Yoder – Grade Two with Jake; Kari Yoder – Grade One with Cupcake; Jason Miller – Grade One with Lightning; Lyle Yoder – Kindergarten with Juice and Kiayla Shetler – Kindergarten with Candy Cane.
The final race put these finalists back up on the ropes with their worms in hand. The first race determined first place. It was Jake from Mark Yoder a second-grade student at Flat Ridge that found the top mark first. A second race saw Martha Yoder’s worm Allie reach the top at a slow and steady pace but well ahead of the competition. The last race was all about Lightning and his student component Jason Miller, couldn’t have been happier about the finish.
The derby was just one aspect of the two-day event in charm that revolved around community from start to finish. Benefits for families with foot stands and bake sales were held. A special silent auction to benefit Ohio’s Hospice Lifecare also raised much-needed funds.
“This is one big event,” shared Laura Davenport who traveled through and decided to stop on Friday afternoon. “It is encouraging to see people supporting one another. These people have something really good going on here. I am putting this on my calendar to support again next year.”
However, the grand auction on Saturday also brought in lots of coin thanks to generous bidders who won items ranging from a collector clock to a buggy and even freshly-baked, homemade pies. Those funds were directed to the Share -n- Care Fund that is used to help those in the community who need it most.