Carthage Kiwanis Club members say they are on schedule to complete the first new ride to be added to Kiddieland Park since that park’s opening more than 60 years ago.
Ed Hardesty said he’s making progress on restoring a carousel the group purchased last year, and should be ready to reassemble the ride in the next few days.
Hardesty told Kiwanis club members at their weekly meeting on Wednesday that he has several of the horses repainted and other parts of the ride are being refurbished.
Kiwanis President Lee Carlson said the club has received one bid to build a building over the carousel from a Mennonite carpenter for $13,500. Carlson said he’s close to having that money, but they could use more donations.
The building will protect the ride from the elements and provide increased security.
Hardesty said the club is seeking people to “adopt a horse” on the ride to help pay for restoration and maintenance.
Hardesty said all the smaller horses, which could be adopted for $200, have been claimed, but he has some of the larger horses, which can be adopted for $500.
For that cost, the adoptee can name the horse, and a brass plaque will be put on the horse with the chosen name and the name of the future parents.
“This is not a one-year adoption,” the club said in its adoption flyer. “It will continue into future years. The money raised with this adoption will go toward the building to keep the horses safe and out of the weather and stay healthy for a long time to come.
Anyone wanting to adopt a carousel horse can contact Lee Carlson by mail at 721 Euclid Blvd. Carthage, 64836. Anyone with questions can call 417-793-0846.
The Kiwanis Club has received help from all over to restore the carousel, including a grant from the National Amusement Park Historical Association for $750.
The Association said, in a letter to the Carthage Kiwanians, that Kiddieland was “nominated for this award by several of our members for this year’s donation.”
“The restoration of your train and the work on the carousel has been of special interest to our members,” the amusement park association said in its letter. “NAPHA is very involved in preserving industry history and keeping parks such as yours open. We are pleased to know that parks such as yours are continuing to operate, bringing smiles laughter and wonderful memories to children of all ages.”
In other Kiwanis Club business, Sheriff Archie Dunn gave what has become an annual address to the club on Wednesday.
Dunn told the group he runs two businesses for Jasper County, a detention center and a law enforcement business, and he employs 145 to 150 people in those two businesses.
He talked about the advances in technology made at the sheriff’s office in the past seven years.
He said a department that once ran on 38 percent of the county’s general revenue fund now runs on 25 percent of that money.