The Carter County Shrine Club added a new event to its schedule this year. The first annual Swap & Sell swap meet was held the last weekend of May, bringing together vendors and shoppers at the Shrine Park in Olive Hill. Despite rainy weather the club considered the event a success.

Shrine Club president Donny Owens, Jr. said the event brought in 'around $2,200 clear' for the club. That's after covering expenses and costs for hosting the event.

All of that money, Owens explained, will be donated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, the main charity for the organization.

'Everything we do is for the kids,' Owens said.

That's why the Shriners dress up and participate in local parades for kids across the region. But the real work isn't wearing funny hats and driving tiny cars. That's just the fun part, members of the group explained. The real work is supporting the Shriners Hospitals, which treat children regardless of their ability to pay.

The group holds a variety of events each year to raise money to support that mission, and while the Swap & Sell was a new one, it's one the group intends to continue. Plans are already underway for the organization of next year's Swap & Sell, the club said.

They're also getting ready for their next big event this year, the AAAAA Horse Show at the Shrine Park is scheduled for June 14-15. That event, which the group has been hosting for 43 years, has grown into one of the premier horse shows in the state and nation. The event's growth was also the impetus for the creation of the Shrine Park, explained club member Bill Callihan — a location where the group now hosts numerous other events each year in addition to making the park available for use by other charitable and non-profit organizations.

The next big event after the horse show is the 29th Annual Shriners Bluegrass Festival, scheduled for July 11-13.

For more information on the Carter County Shrine Club and a calendar of events, you can visit them on Facebook or check out their website at

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