Hamblen County Car Club hosts Kingswood kids at party

Rolland Whipple, an employee of Kingswood Home for Children in Bean Station, accepts a $1,600 check from Hamblen County Car Club President Guy Leolich for expenses at the home.

A long-time relationship between a local club and the children of Kingswood Home for Children in Bean Station continued Tuesday.

The Hamblen County Car Club has helped Kingswood Home for many years. Some of the club members grew up as children of Kingswood.

On Tuesday, the club presented its annual Christmas party for the Kingswood kids, complete with a dinner at Golden Corral, a $50 Walmart gift card for each child and a $1,600 donation from the club to Kingswood to help defray expenses.

“We want to thank you guys,” Jeff Hauser, a houseparent at Kingswood Home said. “This is wonderful. We’re so thankful, but it really goes beyond that. The car shows, the gifts throughout the year, you guys are not just here for a short time, you’re here all year. We just thank you that you look at Kingswood Home as a place that you feel that is important with your handiwork. We look forward to your fellowship again in 2020.”

The well-behaved children took time after their meal to go around to each of the car club members present to thank them for the club’s generosity. An ulterior motive also existed with each of the children asking the members and guests about themselves for a possible surprise for the children later this season.

Hamblen County Car Club President Guy Leolich praised Kingswood Home and the amazing job it does.

“Kingswood does a heroic job,” Leolich said. “They do a wonderful job by relying on the community. The community helps Kingswood be what it is.

“A couple of years ago, there was a car show at Kingswood. Some of the participants in the car show were past Kingswood kids. They felt like it was a way they could pay back. To me, that was probably the best testimonial I’ve heard as to the wonderful job they do. We have the opportunity to give back to the community. The kids need guidance, and we thoroughly enjoy them,” Leolich said.

The job Kingswood does is amazing, Leolich said.

“Every time we’ve been out there, we walk away feeling that there is a little more that we could do,” he said. “We just try to help out wherever we can.”

Earlier this year, Lowe’s put together a cruise-in at their store. The spur-of-the-moment event raised $400 for Kingswood.

“We enjoy any time we can help Kingswood,” Leolich said. “It’s a long process. They have a wonderful reputation in the community, but you don’t hear about that. Kingswood has always been at the top of the list to help and we help them as much as we can.”

Many of the children could be overheard saying that they wanted to give their gift card to their friends.