Swing into Service: Jemison Lions bring outdoor fun to family

Published 9:31 am Tuesday, February 15, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Isaac Walker smiled and laughed as he sat down on the wooden bench swing for the first time.

The unique swing set, featuring a multi-person wooden swing, an individual wooden chair-style swing and one to be laid on, had just been installed by the Jemison Lions Club.

Since Isaac is blind, a cord was stretched from the porch to the playset, so he will be able to get to it by himself.

The almost hammock type swing is similar to one that he has used at school.

Rachel Walker, Isaac’s mom, said the club had started talking to the family about the project in December.

“We were really excited when this idea came up,” club president Rex Bittle said.

Club member Chuck Calloway designed a wooden swing set that would be a good fit with multiple swings, including an individual wooden swing for Isaac to be able to swing independently and safely.

“It’s amazing,” Rachel Walker said of the completed project. “That thing is huge, and I know Isaac is going to love every component of it. It is a really nice place for him to come out and play.”

Isaac has liked swings from the time he was a toddler.

Rachel Walker said Isaac “loves being outside. He likes feeling the wind and hearing different noises.”

Having multiple swings means other family members, including the parents, can also enjoy the new set.

“We were trying to do something that the whole family could come out and play together,” Bittle said. “All of it is strong enough to hold a full-size adult.”

The idea came from talking to some teachers at Jemison Elementary School, where Isaac is in third grade, club member Diane Calloway said. Rachel Walker said the school has been very supportive, giving Isaac the help that he needs.

“We appreciate the Walkers letting us do this for him,” she said.

Funding for the project came from the Jemison Lions Club annual Miss Blackberry pageant.

Bittle said it felt “amazing” to see the swing set completed.

“This is exactly the kind of thing that the Lions Club is about,” Bittle said. “Our motto is ‘We Serve.’ We are looking for ways to serve members of our community, specifically we want to help in Jemison whenever possible.”

The Jemison Lions Club will celebrate its fourth anniversary in March.