By: Steve Blackshire
The Victory Junction Gang Camp is one in a network of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps that was founded by Paul Newman in 1988. In October of 2000 Kyle and Pattie Petty partnered with Paul Newman to launch there most ambitious endeavor. Victory Junction Gang Camp, located in Randleman, NC, is Kyle Petty, his wife Pattie along with "The King" himself, Richard Petty's way of honoring their son and grandson Adam Petty who died in a racing accident in 2000 at the age of 19. Victory Junction is a camp like no other. Based on a racecar theme, Victory Junction will cater to those children who are too ill to attend a regular type camp. The late Adam Petty had envisioned something along these lines after he was involved with his sponsor Sprint and their new technology that allowed kids in different hospitals to communicate with each other. The Petty's are seeing to it that Adam's dream becomes the reality that he would want!
Nestled in the foothills of the Piedmont Triad area just 15 miles outside of Greensboro, NC, the 72 acres that make up Victory Junction Gang Camp is surrounded by hardwood forests and is crissed crossed by several creeks and woodland streams. This $20 million retreat for chronically ill children is a magical place where these kids can just be kids. It's about "fueling" ill children with memories, allowing them to make friends with other kids with illnesses and not worry about being different. The kids will enjoy many different activities such as boating, fishing, swimming, arts & crafts and horseback riding. Along with the fun stuff campers will also have a staff of trained physicians and volunteers to properly care for their medical needs while attending camp. With donations and support from several sponsors, too numerous to name, Victory Junction Gang Camp will be a FREE experience for the children and their families. Where would Otterbine fit in, you may be thinking. Well included on the 72 acres is 7 acres of water!
In this expanse of water are 4 Otterbine Fountains, three 5hp Tri Star Aerating Fountains and one 15hp Triad Giant Fountain. All units are lit for the campers night time delight with High Voltage lights, 250watters on the Tri Stars and 500watters on the Triad.
Chuck Jacques and Clark O'Neil at Smith Turf and Irrigation in Charlotte, NC got the call from J. Gordon Saintsing a longtime irrigation contractor who brought the opportunity to the table that the Petty's where looking for some fountains and requested Otterbine equipment from their past experiences. The order was placed on May 26th and the units had to be installed before June 15th which is the Grand Opening-Open House with the first campers arriving June 20th! The "race" was on and knowing the cause, everyone was on board with making it happen, Otterbine furiously building the units and getting them to Smith Turf, Smith Turf turning it around to Gordon Saintsing the contractor, and Gordon working over the weekend prior to the Opening to insure everything was installed and running properly!
Successful to say the least, the hustling was well worth it when you think about the smiles and grins on the faces of the campers as they sit around the lake, fish from the dock or get a little wet from some over spray while they enjoy seeing the Otterbine Fountains. Who wouldn't want to do their part in putting a smile on the face of a child even those that may have limited time to smile.
Hats off to the Petty Family and God bless them for making more than Adam's wish come true. Also a big Thank You to Smith Turf and Gordon Saintsing for their commitment and efforts on making it happen! And to my Otterbine Team Mates, Thank You for another job well done!