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Truck show to raise funds for accessible equipment

Truck show to raise funds for accessible equipment

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How can you change the little things in someone’s life in an effort to make the biggest difference? The answer may be big rigs and swings.

A truck show on Sunday at the Scotts Bluff County Fairgrounds will raise money for purchased of accessible swings for playground in Scottsbluff and Gering. For Melinda and Rhys Obiedo, the show felt like one of those little things.

Melinda has spent much of her career working with special needs, but now heads up operations of the Grime Scene Unit along with Rhys. They polish semi-trucks and once held a small show at the shop for some of the individuals Melinda worked with.

“Guys that don’t typically show a lot of emotion were smiling,” she said. “It was just great.”

They’ve raised money for organizations in the past including DOVES, the humane society and Firefighter Ministries. In addition to raising money, the couple hopes the event will also put truck drivers and the important role they play into the spotlight.

“I wanted to incorporate his passion for business with my passion for making a change,” she said.

The change she hopes to make following this event is one that will allow wheelchair-bound individuals to feel the breeze against their face as they swing back and forth.

“Imagine just being on the side of the playground watching everyone else,” she said. “I wouldn’t be happy.”

The swings can support a person and their wheelchair and include a strap system to keep them safe while they swing. The cities of Scottsbluff and Gering were already looking into adding accessible swings to local parks and have agreed to take money raised from the show to put toward purchasing them.

The equipment is coming from Blue Grass Playground Equipment in Ashland. Rhys said they wanted to support a Nebraska business.

“It’s a lot for the city, because they have the responsibility of installation and maintenance,” she said. “We understand. We also understand people in wheelchairs need to be able to swing.”

She pointed out that disabled is often paired with the idea that the individual cannot do something.

“I call it different ability,” she said. “They can do it, they just have to do it differently. We have got to find ways to help them.”

The couple believes this could become an annual event in the valley and, hopefully, part of the national circuit. In order to do that, though, they must prove there is a public interest.

The local support has been overwhelming so far, the couple said. Several sponsors stepped up immediately, said Rhys, including Monument Diesel, Red Barn Shop, Comm Shop of Scottsbluff, Ron’s Towing, B&C Steele, Art’s Repair and Service and Nebraskaland Tires.

“There was no question,” he said. “We said this is what we’re doing, and they said, ‘What can we do to help?’”

A number of other individuals and local businesses have donated items for a raffle, he said.

“We’re raffling off over $500 worth of stuff,” Melinda said. “I’ve spent a lot of time crying lately out of appreciation.”

Among the items are gift cards, tools and toys, she said.

Registration for those who want to enter their trucks into the show will begin at the fairgrounds at 8 a.m. on Sunday. The cost to enter the show is $20. There aren’t any requirements, although they do ask that trucks are cleaned for photo purposes.

Along with the truck show, there will be a truck pull put on by the Heartland Pulling Series. Admission into the show is free. Tickets to the pull are $10. There will also be pit passes available for people who want to purchase them.

Truck owners who want to get involved with the pull should reach out to Greg Lussetto at 308-279-0232.

There will be a beer garden, inflatables and a live DJ in addition to food vendors and a craft fair. Food and craft vendors who would like to participate are encouraged to contact Christa Pelster at 308-225-1935.

Kamie.stephen@starherald.com

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Kamie Stephen is a reporter with the Star-Herald. She can be reached at 308-632-9041 or via email at kamie.stephen@starherald.com.

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