The Big Red Bus to head south |

The Big Red Bus to head south

Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkThe Big Red Bus, seen in this years 4th of July parade in Frisco, will head to the Gulf Coast in October to bring needed items to Hurricane Katrina victims. A collection drive is being held Sunday in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Frisco from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

FRISCO – Time to get on the bus – or at least load it.On Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Big Red Bus will be stationed in the Wal-Mart parking lot providing its normal fare of fun, this time for a very timely cause.Local law enforcement groups, churches and businesses are combining their efforts into the most comprehensive fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Katrina yet organized in Summit County.

Jeff Estes, chaplain for the Silverthorne Police and also serves as pastor for High Country Church, heard from members of his congregation who kept asking him what they could to do help the hurricane victims first-hand. We’ve given money, they told him, now we want to do something hands-on. Citizens who stop by Sunday will be given lists of items to purchase from Wal-Mart, which will then be placed in a semitruck and stored until warehouse space becomes available in the Gulf, most likely in mid-October. Tax-deductible checks can be made out to the Big Red Bus. Cash given will go to cover fuel costs for the 1,500-mile trip, on which some 25 Summit County residents will embark for roughly one week. Once at the now-unknown destination, the bus will try to provide a distraction for some of the families and their children by giving out snow cones, popcorn and cotton candy and setting up its trademark inflatables, Summit County Sheriff Chaplain Scott Wilson said.

“One of the biggest things happening in this is how our community is really coming together,” Wilson said. “The number of phone calls I’ve received in the past few days is just phenomenal.” Scott Kennedy, a member of Rocky Mountain Bible Church and the owner of Specialized Truck and SUV in Frisco, is leaving his business behind to lend a hand. Kennedy borrowed a semi-tractor from his father in California and was finalizing the renting of a trailer as of Friday. He and Wilson will co-drive the truck down, and Kennedy will head back solo after spending several days distributing the goods.Kennedy is concerned about leaving his small auto shop behind, but is trying to put things in perspective.”It’ll put a financial crunch on the business and things will not go the way they’re supposed to when I’m gone, but it can’t be nearly as bad as how those people are having it down there right now, so I figure I’d better do my part and help out,” he said.

It is no mistake that the collection drive is being held on the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.”As we look at disaster past, we’re grateful for the men and women who’ve laid their lives down for us, and now we’re looking at disaster present,” Wilson said. “We realize that what we’re doing is like a drop in all of that water down there, but it does make a difference.” Mike Morris can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 223, or at

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