Tossing for Taylor and other Ellerbe scenes

Cornhole tournament proceeds benefit Arthritis Foundation

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ELLERBE — Three dozen competitors registered for the inaugural Tossing for Taylor corn hole tournament on Friday night in Ellerbe.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom Taylor Crouch, 5, left, plays with a friend Friday night at the Ellerbe Lions Club park during the Tossing for Taylor corn hole tournament.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom
Taylor Crouch, 5, left, plays with a friend Friday night at the Ellerbe Lions Club park during the Tossing for Taylor corn hole tournament.

Taylor Crouch wasn’t among them. But her father was, and the 5-year-old Ellerbe girl was able to play in the dirt, watch her father and generally run around like almost any other kid.

But Taylor’s path to physical mobility hasn’t been easy. Three years ago, she was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Her mother, Jill Crouch, described it as a “mild” inflammation of the joints. It’s common for older individuals but rare — some 294,000 children under the age of 18 are afflicted, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Jill said Taylor is in remission now but still requires daily non-steroidal injection to manage the symptoms.

“Now, she’s actually great,” Jill said. “For a while, she could not even walk, could hardly even crawl.”

Jill said the condition is hereditary, though she knows of no one in her family, or her husband’s, who has been diagnosed with JRA. She said Taylor twisted her ankle at the age of 2 and it was put in a cast. Even when the cast was removed, however, the ankle still swelled. They were referred to a specialist.

“We never even heard of it,” Jill said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom Rex Crouch and his daughter, Alley, 2.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom
Rex Crouch and his daughter, Alley, 2.

Taylor acts much like any other kindergarten student might act, full of energy with a penchant to find and play in the nearest dirt pile.

Jill and husband Rex, along with 2-year-old daughter Alley — who shows no signs of having JRA — are working with others to raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation to help other children who might suffer from the same issue. The family is helping to sell T-shirts, stickers, bracelets and raffle off two custom corn hole boards.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

The fundraising circles a weekend of lawnmower racing at Ellerbe Lions Club Speedway. The U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Assocation brings its STA-BIL National Lawn Mower Racing Series to Richmond County Saturday and Sunday. Racing begins at 5:15 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Rockingham resident William English said those who miss out this weekend on racing are simply missing out. Lawn mower racing, the team owner said, “is not in its infancy anymore. It’s grown up.”

English said a competitive field would originally start with 10 drivers but end with four as a variety of issues prevented many from being on the clay track.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom

Over the years, however, companies have learned how to manufacture machines that will hold up to the grind.

Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePostcom

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Outdoors

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