POINT PLEASANT — “Location, location, location.”
These were the words spoken by Pastor John Holland of the Presbyterian Church when talking about the line for hot dogs at the back-to-school carnival Friday night. That line was in the shade during a sultry, summer evening.
Still, the heat didn’t keep away kids and families for the annual event hosted by the church for the last 15 years, with 8th Street crowded with activities. The carnival provides free school supplies to children in preschool (age four) through high school.
Holland said what he loved about the carnival was, kids could go to game stations, play games, win prize coupons and cash them in at the “school store” for school supplies. Those supplies included crayons, markers, erasers, pencils, pens, paper, construction paper, etc.
Also, this year, instead of giving away door prizes, the church members invested in purchasing 300 backpacks to give away to each child who was present at the carnival. For children younger than four years old, Pleasant Valley Hospital donated small tote bags to be given away, said Donna Lambert, church member.
Of course, the carnival couldn’t happen without all the church volunteers preparing for it, working game stations and handing out food. Pam Heib, church member, said less than an hour into the carnival, 300 hot dogs were already being cooked with 150 more thawing.
The church also provided a bouncy house for children at the carnival and everyone, not just the little ones, were treated to dinner.
The church’s carnival provides school supplies to anywhere from 100 to 150 children a year.
There were no income eligibility guidelines for the back-to-school carnival so anyone could attend.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.