SWARTZ CREEK (WJRT) -
(05/29/14) - Thursday is a very special day for kids in Mid-Michigan - kids who don't always get to enjoy life the way their peers do.
The "Andy Maybik Junior Special Day for Special Needs" event kicked off Thursday morning.
This kind of emotion, is all you need to see, to know just how important this day is for so many people.
Kayla Trundle has a lot invested in this event. Her 23-year-old brother has special needs.
"I've dealt with this my whole life and we've never had a day like this where we could just relax and take him and let him have fun and be himself without worrying," she said.
For four whole hours, she's able to bring the sights and sounds of a carnival on a beautiful day to kids with special needs.
"We offer a bunch of games and also face painting for the kids in the pavilion over there," said Kayla Harburn, volunteer.
"They can relax and have fun and not have to worry about getting other people's looks and comments and things like that," Trundle said.
Swartz Creek Hometown Days is going on all weekend, but Thursday, they've got the place to themselves.
"I have kids coming to the registration table and then running away when they see the rides. They just want to get to the rides, get to the games, talking about how excited they are, it's hard to even get a nametag on them," said volunteer Danielle Arnold.
All the kids need to ride is a name tag - and they are having a lot of fun.
What started last year as a small event has exploded in size, now bringing joy and excitement to more than 300 kids.
It's something Andy Maybeck Jr. can watch, knowing his family helped to make it happen. His siblings are here, some flying in from Texas for the occasion.
"You get teary eyed, you know. It's his day, it's all about family," said Sharon Natcel, of Swartz Creek.
Trundle's brother was there, too, with his adult learning school.
"He's very excited to be here," she said. "He's all over the place. It's good to see him so happy."
Swartz Creek Hometown Days will be kicking off Friday, with another special event for local kids, and continues all weekend.