GBR hosts Special Kids Day at the Fair

Community News

Volunteers with stuffed animalsVolunteer with toysVolunteers handing out backpacks

Giggles and grins in Texas

About 25 employee and retiree volunteers from MPC’s Galveston Bay Refinery (GBR) recently met up at the Galveston County Fair & Rodeo (GCF&R) for a day marked by giggles and grins. That sort of thing happens when you spend a fun-filled day at the fair and a rodeo. Yet the volunteers weren’t the only ones feeling happy that day.

“For the past five years, we have sponsored a Special Kids Day at the Fair for area children and others with special needs,” explains Jackie Carruth, who organized the event with fellow GBR REC Club members, Mimi Cornelius, Dan Healy and Janie Valdez. “Our purpose is to enable participants to have as much fun as anyone else at the fair.”

About a thousand took part in this year’s event, including kids, teachers and parents. GBR volunteers met participants as they arrived, accompanied them to the rodeo, helped them on and off carnival rides, prepared/served lunch, played music, organized games and cleaned up afterward.

With MPC’s backing, everything was free – from the carnival, rodeo and music to food, drinks and games. Attendees also received a water bottle, along with an MPC drawstring backpack, in which to store their ‘loot.’”

Thanks to refinery employees, everyone received a prize a well. “About two weeks before the event, we held a stuffed animal drive, asking for new and gently used stuffed animals. About 1,200 were donated,” notes Carruth. “Sometimes I just grab a bag of stuffed animals to walk around handing out. They’re all so appreciative.

“We’re thankful to work for a company that gives us the opportunity to volunteer for those in need,” adds Carruth. “Special Kids Day at the Fair is such a rewarding event; you’re smiling all the time.”