It was a hot sultry day. People were looking for places to escape the sun, while still keeping an eye on their children as they played. It was the Youth Fun Day, Saturday at Bannon Park in Portsmouth. Five people got together and planned a day of activities for the children of the communities. One of those was Jim Parker.
“This is the first time we have ever tried anything like this in the community for the kids,” Parker said. “As soon as they get these things (inflatables) blown up, everyone should have a nice time out here today.”
Parker said the plan was to feed the children then to turn them loose on an egg hunt.
“We’ve got four gold eggs for a shopping spree,” Parker said. “The ones that get the gold eggs get the $50 gift certificate, and they get to go buy some new shoes or whatever they want to buy. That’s what we’re out here for, to have fun with the kids.”
Many of the children began their day at Allen Chapel AME Church
Trinity Lodge Number 9 always gives away two bikes,” Bill Netter, Worshipful Master of Trinity Lodge Number 9, said. “Walmart donates one and we buy one. We give away a girls and a boys bike.”
Netter, who has been a deputy with the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office for six years, said local law enforcement is doing all they can, but they need help from the public to inform them of criminal activity.
“They can only do what people tell them,” Netter said. “If you see something – say something.”
Netter, like Parker, talked about the drug problem in the community.
“With the drug situation in the last 10-15 years, it has gotten bad,” Netter said. “It’s (Youth Fun Day) just something where we can give back.”
Parker was born and grew up in the north end of Portsmouth.
“Big changes have been through here since I was around here as a kid,” Parker said.
The children headed for the basketball court, the slide, the inflatables and the swings as Parker looked on.
“Somebody has to do something because the way the world is today, if you don’t take time for the kids, you aren’t going to have any from now on,” Parker said. ‘You’re not going to have any future, because all of them are going to be messed up.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewisPDT.