Fundraiser set for local family

Saturday, April 28, 2007
Vance and Joyce Barker (back) along with children Ashley, 9, and Blake, 16, will soon be moving into a new home thanks to Habitat for Humanity.

The Barker family was selected from nearly 50 applicants for the next Habitat for Humanity house.

Vince and Joyce Barker, along with 9-year-old Ashley and 16-year-old Blake will be moving into a new home courtesy of Habitat for Humanity on May 6.

Their current living arrangement is not adequate for the needs the family has.

Affordable housing is difficult to find as they need three bedrooms.

A new handicap accessible Habitat house plan will be used for the new home, making adjustments to fit the needs of the family.

Habitat for Humanity will take a 10X10 space from a 1,050-square foot house plan to build a tiled shower space to accommodate a new 6-foot shower wheel chair for Blake.

Another plan is to use double doors for Blake's room so he can be private or join the family living space, by his choice.

Blake is a quadriplegic through a medical mishap. A shunt was placed in his head soon after birth but was never a problem.

As a 14-year-old, he was playing football and participating in band at Reelsville.

However, the shunt became infected and Blake was rushed to an Indianapolis hospital to have it replaced.

Having no health insurance, he was released the next day.

Infection has invaded the shunt two more times and Blake's brain began to swell before the family could reach the hospital, leaving him with permanent brain injury.

Ashley attends Reelsville Elementary School, but Blake's attends school via closed circuit television from South Putnam High School and Old National Trail.

Blake will be celebrating his 16th birthday on May 5.

Those wishing to bring him a card are asked to join Habitat for Humanity and the entire Barker family at a fundraising music festival at Greencastle High School's McAnally Center May 5.

Bluegrass, country, Gospel and traditional music will begin at 11 a.m.

Musical performances will be provided by Upward Journey, The Old Timers, Lost River Risen, Barnstormin', Fret Set, Jess Purdue, Joyful Sound, The Deaton Family, Jake Boswell, Jr. and Kim Love and Star Cross.

Food will be catered by Cajun Billy (Bill and Vada Boyette).

A breakfast is scheduled for 9 a.m., including sandwiches and cinnamon rolls. Lunch and dinner will include wraps and sandwiches.

Children can enjoy bouncing and playing in the Big Bounce House or they may joust for $1 for five minutes or until there is only one left standing.

Free will offerings will be accepted to help build the family a new home.

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