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Journeyman Steve Young recently visited Carrollton during one of his journeys across the country to raise awareness for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a camp for sick and terminally ill children in Randleman, N.C.
According to their website, the camp opened in 2004 and has served more than 11,000 children and families from 47 states and three countries. It was built on 84 acres donated by former NASCAR driver Richard Petty and his wife, Lynda. The camp serves children with 24 chronic medical conditions and serious illnesses including autism, cancer and diabetes.
Originally from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Young, 54, has no connection with the camp, but he said he grew up with a girl who had severe birth defects and wanted to do something for the camp and for the children. He is also a big NASCAR and Richard Petty fan.
Young began his first journey on Oct. 10, 2007, however he takes small breaks along the way and has made several different trips. He has visited a number of different states, including Tennessee, Mississippi, California, Texas, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Virginia and Pennsylvania. In addition, this is his third trip through Kentucky.
“I just think about those kids,” he said. “Some of them won’t be able to make it to teenagers. That’s what keeps me going.”
Young’s goal is to raise money for the camp, and if someone he meets has a child who can benefit from the camp that is even better, he said.
Young has shot more than 1,400 pictures with disposable cameras along his journey and has also written about 80 chapters of a two-volume book with the working title, “I went out for milk and kept on going: One man’s journey of hope and faith.” The book will be about the people he has met and the places he has seen along the way.
Currently, Young is on his final journey. He visited Carrollton on Aug. 24 and 25 before continuing on toward Minnesota. He planned on stopping in Milton and Madison on his travels through Illinois, Missouri and Iowa.
He will return to his new home in Patrick Springs, Va., which is about 100 miles away from the camp. Young said he has talked to people with the camp in the past, but has not been in contact recently. However, he hopes to visit the camp on his way home.