Communication Builds Our Community

Dyer Difference Award Recognizes KT's Sunshine Foundation

Sometimes even pain and disaster can lead to blessings for others. Such was the result of the tragic death of 22 year-old Kaitlyn Kinard.

Just as the rest of the world was going into lockdown in March, 2020, Kinard's family was falling apart for a completely different unexpected disaster. Kinard was killed in a car-crash involving a wrong-way driver, a crash which also critically injured the love of her life, Landon.

A nursing student who was just about to graduate and begin her life of helping others, Kaitlyn's journey ended suddenly and sadly. But her family and friends knew that Kaitlyn's special gift for lighting up a room would not end when her own candle dimmed, and they created KT's Sunshine Foundation, which focuses on assisting families in the community who have suffered tragedies and providing students with scholarships.

To help raise funds to provide scholarships and spread a little of Kaitlyn's sunshine, the organization hosts and annual Southern Sunshine BBQ and Music Festival every year. That event, held only days ago, raised thousands of dollars that support worthy causes in the area.

This month, the Dyer Difference Award honors Kaitlyn's sunny disposition and her family's efforts to share that light with others.

Each month, members of the Dyer family and Dyer Kia and Dyer Chevrolet team meet to review the applications which have been submitted and select one non-profit organization to receive that month's recognition and $3,000 award. For the members of the Dyer team, it's all about helping to make a positive difference in the community. For the recipients, it's an acknowledgement of their tireless efforts to do the same and a much-needed financial boost to help further their missions. If you'd like to nominate a non-profit organization from Polk County for the Dyer Difference Award, please visit


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