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Students enjoy summer festival

Marcus Daniels and Torrence Linthicum have a knack for cornholing and that knack paid off with a little dividend Saturday morning.

“Here, you get one of these,” Carl White said as Daniels celebrated his cornhole success.

“One of these” was a goody bag, compliments of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital. Inside were a Frisbee, a toothbrush, a lollipop and some heath information cards and booklets.

“I came down for school supplies,” Daniels, 8, of Ironton said. But when he saw the rest of the fun of the annual Summer Festival, he stayed.

The Summer Festival is the work of three area churches: First United Methodist, First Presbyterian and St. Paul Lutheran. While the Lutheran Church was handing out free school supplies, the other two churches were putting the fest in festival: kids bounced on giant inflatables, tried their hand at games and noshed refreshments.

Austin Bridges visited the First Presbyterian table and walked away with a CD with music. Next to the music CDs were Bibles for older students. While the fun was evident, the Rev. Jan Williams, pastor of First Presbyterian, said she hoped a larger message would sink in:

“We want them to know God loves them,” she said. “This is the most basic thing any child can learn.”

Next door, two ladies of the Methodist Church had a thatched roof

“surf shack” set up and were registering kids for next week’s Vacation Bible School.

“It’s centered around a beach theme this year,” Congregation member Leona Payne said. “We’ll have a snack shack and Bible stories and music.”

Next to the snack shack was a limbo pole and Daisy Smith’s son, Brandon Wicker, was waiting for the chance to give it a try.

Like many others, Smith and her son came down to get school supplies and wound up staying for the fun.

While other volunteers passed out goodies, timed foot races and organized sale items, White kept track of those kids and their cornhole skills.

“I love to do it,” he said. “I help with anything in the church. I think this is bigger than last year. It seems to get bigger every year.”