Incredible and fantastic are two words Shane Berry is using to describe the 2013 JAKES event.

The youth outdoor classroom sporting event took place Saturday, May 18, on the farm of Darrell Stogsdill, south of Grove.

Berry, education coordinator for the event, said 910 students took part in the event — an all-time record.

He said as some students left, others arrived, allowing them to exceed the 800 cap.

Berry said the group fed between 2,000 and 3,000 students, parents and volunteers on Saturday.

Checking On The


Stogsdill, a long-time supporter of JAKES, made a point to attend Saturday’s event.

It was his first outing since being run over by a tractor on his farm in May 2012.

“He’s been in bed, but the other day I said, ‘you know, JAKES is coming up, do you want to try to go?’” Debra Stogsdill said. “He said ‘yep, I do.’”

Stogsdill was able to attend thanks to his grandson, Alex Boswell, who helped him get into his vehicle. From that seat, he watched the crowd and visited with friends.

“I loved seing him there,” Berry said. “It made my day to see him... It was a highlight of my day.”

Looking towards 2014

Plans are already underway for the 2014 event. Berry said the group’s debriefing meeting included a discussion on how to expand the offerings to the oldest students — those in the 15 to 17-year-old age range.

Berry anticipates the number of participants will continue to climb as additional events are added to the schedule.