TROY — The Strawberry Festival brings out people from all over Miami County with the warm strawberry doughnuts, sporting events, craft booths and games. But with those people comes masses of cars.
Each year a good parking spot, if any parking spot at all, can be hard to come for those choosing not to use the festival’s free shuttle service.
Troy resident Sam Cairns and his family will be parking cars in a private parking lot at the corner of South Market and Canal streets during the Strawberry Festival on Saturday and Sunday. The parking costs $10 and all proceeds collected will go directly to Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton.
Sam’s sister from Cincinnati, Joan Murray, and his brother from Florida, Tom Cairns, come up to help for the weekend, along with his children.
This will be Cairns’ third year to raise funds for the hospital. Each year the full proceeds go to Good Samaritan Hospital, specifically the Good Samaritan Cardiac Nurses Unit. The unit helped care for Cairns in March 2014 after Good Samaritan surgeons saved his life.
“The nurses brought me back from a heart stoppage a couple years back, this is my way of paying them back,” Cairns said.
In past years Cairns has raised around $4,000 by parking cars at the Troy Strawberry Festival. Funds go into the Sim-Mom project, where robots can be programmed for life-like health failures that nurses and staff can practice on.
He will be receiving special recognition from the Good Samaritan Foundation for his efforts in raising funds for the hospital.
“I am 77 years old — I don’t have a lot to give, but I want to do what I can,” Cairns said.
Good Samaritan Hospital staff called Cairns in January, notifying him of the Champions award he will be receiving on June 16 for his fund raising efforts. Cairns will be one of only five people to receive the award at the invitation-only function put on by the Good Samaritan Foundation Board.
“At the end of the day,” said Cairns, “We are just little people parking cars.”