Lexington businessman makes sure generous fifth-graders get Kings Island trip

When Dennis Stephens heard Thursday that some Powell County fifth-graders were giving up their class trip in order to help Eastern Kentucky storm victims, he knew he had to do something.

"I turned to my wife, Lisa, and said, 'Why don't we do something for those kids?' We need to make sure they get to make that trip," Stephens said.

In short order, Stephens arranged to send $1,800 to teacher Sarah Rose's fifth-grade class at Bowen Elementary School so they can still make their planned trip to Kings Island at the end of the school year.

The students had saved money for the class trip. But after last Friday's storms they decided to give up their trip and give their money for storm relief instead.

After seeing the children's story on WLEX-TV Thursday morning, Stephens immediately emailed the station, which helped him contact the school and arrange to send the money. Stephens, president of Advanced Industrial Products in Lexington, said he and his company have been getting congratulatory calls and emails ever since.

"The whole thing has just grown and grown, it wasn't anything we were looking for any accolades for," he said. "Sometimes, God has a reason for things. Those kids did such a nice thing, and I felt bad for them missing their trip. I talked to their teacher today, and she was just overwhelmed."

Advanced Industrial Products provides parts and engineering support for various industries, including Toyota. It has offices in Lexington, West Virginia and Mississippi.

Stephens said Rose told him that although her students were glad to donate their money to help storm victims, some were a bit disappointed because they'd never been to Kings Island.

"The trip was going to be a really big deal for them, and you know kids out in Powell County don't have a lot," he said. "We just wanted to make sure their good deed did not go unnoticed."

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