Kenai Rotarians help kids have fun and experience the real world of operating big equipment/toys at Big Tonkas on the Bluff
For those who drove by the second annual Kenai Rotary Club “Big Tonkas on the Bluff,” last week you might have found it difficult to determine whether the kids or the operators were having the most fun behind the controls of some huge equipment. According to Kenai Rotarian Randy Daly, one of the creators Big Tonka day, this year’s event fulfilled a couple of Rotary objectives, “Big Tonkas on the Bluff is basically a Vocational Service Program to expose children to the world of heavy equipment.
Supervised exposure to several different models of equipment that demonstrate different aspects of motion and applied power, gives the child a glimpse at the possibilities of shaping the world around them,” explained Daly.
In the case of the double bucket lift truck, it gave youngsters a view of the world from 30 feet in the air, as they had never seen it before. In planning this year’s Big Tonka day Daly said he thought, “on the practical side, if there is a bunch of heavy equipment in one place with qualified operators to use it, why not try to accomplish something?” As it just so happened, the Kenai Peninsula Soccer Club needed more playing fields and the City of Kenai had under-utilized land directly adjacent to the existing fields, so the Kenai Rotarians decided to hold the vocational event on the property, and take advantage of the opportunity to also accomplish a Rotary Community Service Project by making a new soccer field during the event.
With the help of long list of sponsors that reads like the Who’s Who of Kenai businesses, and some dedicated volunteer operators the new field has been hydro-seeded and should be available for use next spring. Daly even has visions of turning the project into an International Service program that could some day host a Rotary International soccer tournament at the new field.
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