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Church hosts party featuring educational, entertaining events

June 12, 2005|by MARIE GILBERT/Staff Writer

The snake was like nothing Ryan Guesler had ever seen - a 5-foot blotched king snake from Florida.

While his little sister covered her eyes, the 10-year-old Hagerstown youngster couldn't control his excitement.

"This is so cool," he announced.

A Scales and Tails presentation by Jacob Doyle of the Maryland Park Service, Department of Natural Resources, was just one of the activities featured Saturday at a block party hosted by Emmanuel United Methodist Church on Summit Avenue.

This was the second year for the event, chairperson Steve Bittner said.

"We had such a great response last year, we decided to do it again," Bittner said.

The event is an opportunity to provide fun activities for children and their families in the neighborhood, Bittner said.

This year, in addition to Scales and Tails, visitors could enjoy a putting green, a moon bounce, sand art, a dunking booth and musical entertainment. A firetruck demonstration, information booths and free food also were available.

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Despite the heat, Bittner expected a large crowd to be on hand

"We've been canvassing the neighborhood, handing out fliers and letting people know about this year's event," he said. "Last year, we had over 300 people show up. So I think we'll have another good turnout."

Helping to make the event a success were the many volunteers from the church who were assisting at the various games and programs, Bittner said.

"We've had a lot of cooperation from church members," he said. "I think everyone was excited about getting together and throwing a party for the neighborhood."

"We want to be known as a church that's involved in the community," said the Rev. Kenneth Hawes, pastor of Emmanuel United Methodist Church. "And this block party is a great way to do that."

Hawes said Saturday's event was all about having fun.

"We want people to come out and enjoy themselves," he said. "And in the future, if they ever need us, they'll know we're here for them."

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