Friday, July 15, 6 p.m. is a time that Franklin County residents will likely talk about for a long time. A special bittersweet dedication ceremony will be held at the fairgrounds during the Franklin County Fair, followed by a special auction to raise money for a memorial scholarship, and the regular livestock auction in the arena featuring the new announcers stand and Junior Leaders concession stand at 6:30 p.m.
On a quiet Saturday afternoon last October, Kyle Kerr slipped underneath the surface of a load of corn in a semi and perished. He left his father, Gary, mother, Rhonda, and three siblings behind to grieve and ask 'why?'
The community began supporting the Kerr family, Cedar Grove, almost immediately, from a huge funeral turnout to running the family's remaining crops. Then someone came up with the idea to build a new concession stand and announcers stand at the fairgrounds where Kyle loved to spend time with his dad, Gary, one of the volunteers who makes the fair tick.
"So many people helped with this project that I can't list them all," Gary says. "Money poured in, companies donated materials, and people showed up to work. It's a fitting tribute that should be here a long time."
The building will be officially dedicated Friday evening at 6 p.m. at the fairgrounds on the south side of Brookville in the Franklin County Park. A stone memorial inlaid into the wall of the building honoring Kyle will be unveiled.
That's only half the story. A donated pig will be auctioned, with money that everybody gives totaled to start a scholarship fund in Kyle's honor through the Franklin County Community Foundation.
The money will be used for a scholarship fund for future graduates from Mt. Carmel School, Franklin County High School and/or a 4-H member.
If you can't attend the auction, and even if it's after July 15, you can still contribute to the scholarship fund. Rex Rosenberger, a 4-H volunteer and friend of the family, is coordinating donations. Send your donation to: Franklin County Community Foundation, c/o Rex Rosenberger, 7037 Dorrel Road, Brookville, IN 47012.
Tragic events can't be undone. But something very special can come form something very horrific. Hoosiers, specifically those in southeastern Indiana, are proving that once again.