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Hundreds of kids brave the heat at Summer jam

July 18, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Despite semi-tropical weather Sunday afternoon, more than 500 children jammed the Donald "Mike" Waters Memorial Park for the fifth annual ChambersFest Summer Jam.

Face painting, crazy-hat construction, pottery-making, Karaoke, a basketball competition, horse rides and a variety of other activities were all free for area youth.

Older kids gravitated to the Karaoke area, while the younger ones went for the "inflatables" - Monkey Motion, Scooby-Doo Ninja Jump and a huge slide shaped like a shark.

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Jackie Dawson watched as her grandchildren, Shakeer Marks, 8, and Jazmir Marks, 3, bounced on the Monkey Motion, an activity where riders get into a harness suspended from long arms, then jump on a trampoline. Some of the kids backflipped, others just bounced. Several, including Nathan Ross, 7, of Chambersburg, waited in line for 40 minutes for a three-minute turn.

The Greater Chambersburg Chamber Foundation partners with the Boys & Girls Club and National Kids Day to put on the event, according to Chamber Foundation Executive Director Melissa Knepper. "There's been a steady stream of kids since we opened (at 3 p.m.)," she said. "The Boys & Girls Club was a wonderful help."

The Foundation's focus is on youth and education, she added. The purpose of the event was simply to allow children to "play together, have fun and be safe," she said.

Josiah Davis, 4, attended with his grandparents, Jody and Steve Ross of Chambersburg. Josiah said he rode the horse and bounced on the Monkey Motion.

Potter Jack Handshaw helped youngsters create a square basket from clay.

"I'm having fun. I hope they're having fun," he said, slicing a piece of brown clay off a large block. He said he was teaching kids to "make pottery the easy way, without the potter's wheel." He rolled the clay with a rolling pin, and children decorated it with stamps, or patterned it with a seashell, a fork or other tools. Then the piece was draped over a square box. Handshaw will later glaze and fire the piece.

Dominique Davis, 11, of Harrisburg, Pa., visiting the area to attend the festival, worked on a basket for her mother, Tara.

Several children entertained the crowd with their Karaoke performances.

Joseph Brumfield, 12, of Chambersburg, sang "Let Me Love You" to enthusiastic applause.

Preparing to leave the festival, Stephanie Arana, 9, said she "made hats and played on the trampoline." Cesian Carrillo, 6, said she "bounced on that thing and painted my face and hair." She had a streak of orange paint in her black hair. Younger sister Elizabeth Carillo, 4, also made a hat, while Bernardo Moreno, 10, said he "played games and got balloons."

Taking first place in the 12- to 14-year-old age group in the basketball three-point shooting contest was Brian Davila, 14, of Chambersburg. Jamill Whitehead was the senior high winner.

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