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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Holiday rest stop duty labor of love for local Kiwanians

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Stopping at the Greencastle Kiwanis Club's holiday Coffee Safety Stop along eastbound Interstate 70, west of Plainfield, traveler Josh Glassman (right) shares some conservation and a cup of coffee Monday afternoon. Glassman, chatting with Kiwanis coffee stop project director Carl Singer (left) and local Kiwanian Gary Barcus (rear), was traveling back from Dallas, where the University of Michigan alumnus attended the Alabama-Michigan football game Saturday night. Glassman, a graduate of the Michigan School of Music, has a job in the Detroit Opera.
Yes, Good Samaritans still exist.

Some of them are identified now by Kiwanis pins. They could be found Monday (Labor Day) performing their good deeds at a rest stop along the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70, just west of Plainfield.

For at least the last five years, Greencastle Kiwanians have manned the Kiwanis Coffee Safety Stop, offering donuts and coffee to random hungry or thirsty eastbound travelers, beginning at 8 o'clock Labor Day morning.

The effort is part of the local Kiwanis Club's tradition of community service.

The Kiwanis Coffee Safety Stop project is performed on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day each year.

Members of the club, including 11 who served Monday, distributed goods donated by other Good Samaritans -- Wal-Mart, Kroger, McDonald's, Arby's and the Putnam County Convention and Visitor Bureau.

Travelers also have the opportunity to make a donation to the Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis if they wish as they enjoy the refreshments and inevitable conversations with Kiwanian hosts in the Rest Stop's main reception facility, according to Carl Singer, director of the Kiwanis event Monday.

"On Memorial Day, a family came through on its way to Riley Hospital," Singer recalled with some irony. "They were on their way to confer with a doctor about their 10-year-old daughter, who I thought was at the hospital but was actually with the family. 'Riley is a great place,' said the father, 'and she's been free of cancer for two years,'" he added.

"I thought that was a wonderful story, one that brought both a smile and a tear," Singer said. "And, yes, he left a nice donation for the betterment of Riley."

A total of $380 in donations were received during the Labor Day rest stop effort, bringing the Greencastle Kiwanis Club total for the year (combining the Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day efforts) to $1,130 in donations for Riley Children's Hospital through the Kiwanis project.

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