Thunder generates $18K for juvenile diabetes


By Chris Cooper - ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com



Summer Nights Cruise In group and JDRF friends during the 2015 Thunder on the Square event.


Wilford Scarbrough wins an award at the 2015 Thunder on the Square event held to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.


Logan County Jailer Phil Gregory comes out with his tractor to the 2015 Thunder on the Square event.


Kevin Kirby or Kirby & Son Funeral Home won for Best of Show at the 2015 Thunder on the Square.


The 2015 Thunder On The Square event held Sunday in Russellville brought out a large crowd, and with them a large amount of generosity. The event is held each year to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). This year the event generated close to $18,000.

“This is the biggest so far,” said Clay Bilyeu, one of the founders of the Logan County event. Bilyeu and a ground of friends, along with JC Kirby & Son and Summers, Kirby & Sanders Funeral Home throw this show each year because they want to give back, and want to help those who are struggling with juvenile diabetes.

Organizers invite all car, truck and motorcycle enthusiasts, as well as tractor collectors to come out and show off their stuff, while providing entertainment, food and activities such as a cake walk and 50/50 drawing.

“There was a huge crowd and lots of cars, trucks and motorcycles,” Bilyeu said. “I was so amazed at how many came out to help JDRF. It was very heartwarming. I can’t thank each of those who participated enough.” Even the guys from Ghost Riders came and manned the entrance gates.

Bilyeu said organizers were hoping to generate $12,000 or $13,000, but it went way beyond that.

“People were so generous,” said Bilyeu. “The cake walk alone made $600. And about 90 percent of the prize money given was donated back to the cause.”

There were 32 classes in the event. All winners received a trophy- which Bilyeu and his crew made themselves- and won $100 each.

The auction did very well too. Brent Summers of Summers, Kirby and Sanders Funeral Home provided his talents as auctioneer for the day.

“We are now going to start focusing on next year’s event,” said Bilyeu. “We are planning on starting earlier next year and want to break this year’s total.”

Bilyeu and a group of his tight-knit friends have partnered with JC Kirby to bring this revved up celebration to Logan County the past several years. Thousands of dollars have been collected for the JDRF through the support of many people in the community. In 2014 the group raised $10,700. That number keeps rising.

“We love putting this event on each year,” said Bilyeu. “Not only are we able to get together with those who appreciate cars, trucks and motorcycles, but we are able to help others, which is the most important reason we do this. This could not be done without the many people who help out. They are my friends and they are just as much a part of this as I am.”

* Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition caused by the body’s inability to break down glucose (sugars) and store them properly. When an individual’s system is unable to efficiently process glucose, it will back up in the person’s bloodstream creating multiple health problems.

Over thirty thousand individuals will be diagnosed with diabetes this year alone. It is estimated that over one hundred and twenty million individuals worldwide have diabetes. It is further estimated that approximately five million individuals have diabetes that has yet to be diagnosed.

Type 1 Diabetes is called Juvenile Diabetes as the onset of it begins in childhood. Children diagnosed with juvenile diabetes are insulin dependent. Insulin is the hormone that enables our body to convert the food we eat into energy which is necessary to function normally. Current research indicates that juvenile diabetes is an auto-immune disorder, similar to other disorders such as; rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. A small percentage of individuals may also develop thyroid conditions.

Summer Nights Cruise In group and JDRF friends during the 2015 Thunder on the Square event.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_12096641_10208046676630947_7955773103256825858_n.jpgSummer Nights Cruise In group and JDRF friends during the 2015 Thunder on the Square event.

Wilford Scarbrough wins an award at the 2015 Thunder on the Square event held to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_12106954_10205376631320585_3722865934166331470_n.jpgWilford Scarbrough wins an award at the 2015 Thunder on the Square event held to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Logan County Jailer Phil Gregory comes out with his tractor to the 2015 Thunder on the Square event.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_12088003_889715354411083_5403171442277669277_n.jpgLogan County Jailer Phil Gregory comes out with his tractor to the 2015 Thunder on the Square event.

Kevin Kirby or Kirby & Son Funeral Home won for Best of Show at the 2015 Thunder on the Square.
http://newsdemocratleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_12144870_10205376637760746_4591353126435922510_n.jpgKevin Kirby or Kirby & Son Funeral Home won for Best of Show at the 2015 Thunder on the Square.

By Chris Cooper

ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

To contact Chris Cooper, email ccooper@newsdemocratleader.com or call 270-726-8394.

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