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Special needs kids get in the swing of things

Nicholas Thompson shows his appreciation to Chat Jones, who along with his brother, Donnie, supplied the swing. Nicholas Thompson shows his appreciation to Chat Jones, who along with his brother, Donnie, supplied the swing.

Carla Davis figured that the man who had co-founded Special Needs Baseball in Henderson County might be soft touch when it came to a request she had on behalf of her son, Nicholas Thompson.

She approached Chat Jones, who co-founded the softball league with his brother Donnie, and asked if he had thought about buying special swings for handicapped children. That's how the Jones brothers' newest charitable project came about. Call it Special Needs Swings.
The giggles of the kids on the new red swing at Jackson Park was all the proof anyone could ask for. The new playground equipment was a good idea.
"It's wonderful," Kim Haynes said after her daughter had taken the swing for a test drive. "Obviously she loved it. She's growing out of the baby seat swing. It's a nice addition because I can take both my kids and let them swing together."
Nicholas Thompson found great joy, too, in the swing.
"He was very excited, very happy," said his mom. "We've had to travel to Asheville to get to a swing he could use."
Chat Jones, the owner of Jones Auto Sales, paid $1,584 for three swings; the other two will go up at East Flat Rock Park and Fletcher Community Park. "After I bought them people came up and helped," he said. Dr. Jim Kessaris, local engineer Bart Salvaggio, investment adviser Jack Walsh and Todd Trace have all bought swings or donated toward them.
"That's worth all the money in the world right there," Trace said as he watched Aiden Easler enjoy a ride. "When you watch it, how can you not help? It's a good cause. I'm glad we got it started. Hopefully, they'll put them in every park."