(ROCKWALL, TX—Dec. 21, 2016) Christmas came early this year for Yvonne and Ray Kelly of Rowlett, the winners of the Rockwall Kiwanis Angel League Playhouse raffle. Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt had the honor of drawing the raffle ticket winner at the Kiwanis Club’s meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at the Rockwall Wedding Chapel.
The Kellys intend to give the playhouse, custom built by Jack Cecil of Westchester Custom Homes, to their grandchildren: Berkley, age 5; Luke, age 2; and Charley Grace, 8 weeks old.
Winning the playhouse raffle is made even more meaningful to the Kellys by the fact that the family lost their home and previous little playhouse in the Dec. 26 tornado last year. Yvonne’s and Ray’s son and daughter-in-law, Shane and Kyle Wagner, resettled the family in Royse City, where the playhouse will make a fine addition to the Kellys’ new homestead.
“Please express our deep gratitude to the Rockwall Kiwanis Angel League for this special gift for our special little angels. What a wonderful blessing you all are to our family!” said Yvonne and Ray in a press release.
The Kiwanis sold 460 of 500 total raffle tickets, and all of the proceeds will go towards the Rockwall Kiwanis Angel League – a baseball program for boys and girls ages 4-15 with special needs, and includes T-ball for the small fry and coach pitch for more advanced players. Any child with disabilities may play, and the Rockwall Kiwanis welcome siblings and youth from local high schools to assist their players in hitting and mobility around the field, so that even players with walkers, wheelchairs or other mobility issues can join the action.
Kiwanis Charter Member Pat Turner said the idea to build a playhouse benefiting the Angel League first came about a couple years ago when his longtime friend Jack Cecil built a summer playhouse on the property of AMICA Rockwall. Jack had donated to the Angel League several times before, but when he was asked by Pat earlier this year if he would like to donate money for the program, Jack said he wouldn’t give a penny; instead, he would build a playhouse to benefit the Angels.
“I’ve known Jack probably for 18-20 years, and this is indicative of the type of guy we’re dealing with,” Pat said. “His involvement in the community is very, very outstanding.”
Jack said he’s proud to know that the funds raised from the playhouse raffle will allow kids with special needs the opportunity to play the sport they love.
“We looked at it as an opportunity to give back, but more than anything I think the gift in all of this is the kids,” Jack said. “Knowing that Kiwanis and the people that stand behind Angel League are at ease in knowing that they have the funds available to them to do that, I think that’s pretty awesome too.”
Story and photos by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News. Photo of the playhouse courtesy of Rockwall Kiwanis.
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