Over $50k raised for Kidz Outdoors in Saturday’s Soggy Bottom Lodge event (includes photos)

A special Kidz Outdoors event was held this year at Soggy Bottom Lodge in Linden, Ala., on May 13, and it was only made possible through the combined efforts of countless supporters, volunteers, and contributors.

Although many people came together to make Saturday great, I would like to personally thank those who went above and beyond for such an outstanding cause.

Specifically, I would like to mention all of the great volunteers: Federal Judge Scott Coogler, who prepared dinner for over 700 people; volunteers who came from the Universities of Montevallo, West Alabama, and Alabama, including the soccer coaches and fishing team from the University of West Alabama; Ready Mix USA and Cemex, who were our cooking team; James Lewis, Olen Kerby, Johnny Lewis, and Tommy Criswell, who prepared lunch. The great people from La Montanita came out to help with the food as well.

Alabama Power volunteer LaDon Glover and his family served and assisted all of the kids and their families; Coach Josh Chapman and former Alabama football players Christian Jones, Marquis Maze, Undra Billingsley, and Kerry Murphy gave their valuable time to take and sign photos for the kids.

Sheriff Brian Harris, of Sumter County, and Tommy Reese, Chief of Police for Demopolis, both came out and delighted everyone by participating in the dunk booth.

The whole day was kept organized by Alec Braswell, who acted as our volunteer Master of Ceremonies for the day.

And finally, a special thanks goes to all of our sponsors, all the way from Gadsden to Mobile, from Mississippi to Demopolis. My friends know how grateful I am that they supported such an honorable cause. Everyone at Soggy Bottom and everyone at Personal Touch, Inc. put forth a great effort, and I couldn’t be more humbled. We hosted between 700 and 800 people, and it would not have been successful without you.

Last year was our first time to host a Kidz Outdoors event, and we were able to raise $25,000. This year’s event surpassed all of our highest expectations and everyone who participated help raise $54,000. Carol and Rick Clarke, the founders of Kidz Outdoors, do such incredible work with special needs children, and it’s a privilege to help in some small way. They contribute so much of their time and effort to helping the children succeed, even inventing tools and equipment to meet each child’s specific needs.

Next year’s event is tentatively slated for Saturday, May 7, and we need your help and support to make it even better. Together, I know we can succeed.

Thank you,

JR Rivas, Owner, Soggy Bottom Lodge