Great weather is what people look for when hosting an outdoor event and last Friday, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for the Community Engagement Day held in Portsmouth.
According to Dennis DeCamp, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Scioto County, on July 26, Scioto County Juvenile Court and Ohio State University Extension, Scioto County hosted a Community Engagement Day at Tracy Park for members of the community in need and others who stopped by for the event. Fifteen organizations distributed literature and daily necessities. There were over 40 sponsors of the event that assisted in providing a meal and music for entertainment.
“This was the second year for the event,” DeCamp said. “Last year the event was initiated from the juvenile court with Judge Alan Lemons and Dawn Keller thought of this and Dawn did a great job of recruiting a lot of the homeless people and went to where they were and talked to them about it. They probably had about 100 to 150 people. This year we had some homeless people and also any community members that were in need. We had some folks from different rehabilitation centers throughout the town and we got to interact with them.”
They had local 4H groups bring in care packages and he said they sent out to the local 4H clubs, if they wanted to, they could send in care packages and they tried to put them in gallon bags, so it would be easier for them to carry. They had things in the packages for men such as socks, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and for women hygiene products, and the soap and other items. They had probably 150 of those from 4H clubs, which DeCamp said they thought was outstanding and they gave all them out, but a few.
“We also had churches that gave out food, like peanut butter and crackers and things like that, that they could take with them. At the event, there were people there with brochures from different organizations,” DeCamp said. “Our big assistance was Senora’s Mexican Grill came and set up a taco bar. They were going to do 150 of them and Martin Miranda-Manchilla, was running a little bit low, so he went and got a little more stuff.
“We had corn, the kids on the probation, have a garden in West Portsmouth, but with the strange weather, they didn’t have all the corn so they used some of their corn and had to purchase some this year,” DeCamp said. “The kids on juvenile probation can see the fruits of their labor when the corn is being eaten. Scioto Ribber donated the hot dogs and their grill, one of their guys grilled the hot dogs, plus he roasted the corn. Another group donated the hot dog buns and Rural King donated 20 cases of water for when they ate and they could take a bottle with them. The community really came together.”
He was quick to add that due to Dawn Keller’s retirement, Yvonne Hale stepped in and did a nice job, also, Cindy Montgomery and Ron Pendleton from the juvenile court, along with the extension office’s Treva Williams and Jo Williams. “We had several meetings to plan and it’s a good time, it feels fulfilling to help the community and those in need and that Judge Lemons, says it’s one of his favorite things to do,” DeCamp said. “We are already making plans for what we can do better next year. The weather was perfect for that day and we had plenty of help.”
DeCamp also mentioned he wanted to give hats off to the Scioto County Commissioners for the tables and chairs, also R & R Tent Rentals, as they set the tent up and then took it down. “It was just great to see the community come together for those in need and we had a lot more donations this year for a great cause,” he said. “Our poster just said for those in need to come.”
Speaking with Hale, she said that she feels it is a great event and they hope to see even more of our community next year. “The event was set up that morning and we served food from 11:30 until we ran out. It is a great event and we estimated around 500 attended the event this year.”
One thing that can be taken from this event is the fact that if you invite them they will come, and this group of people who came together to make this happen did that and are already planning on having an even bigger event next year.
Community Engagement Day and Corn Roast Sponsors were:
Judge Alan Lemons, Ohio State University Extension, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Scioto County Commissioners, ADAMHS Board, Animals R Us 4-H Club, Country Clovers 4-H Club, Farm Buddies 4-H Club, Farmer’s Insurance/Donna Wolery, Focus Residential, Frazie Wealth Management, Happy Campers 4-H Club, Hopesource, Iron Body Fitness/Crossfit Dreamland,. Little Rascals 4-H Club, Little Septic, Lyra Livestocker’s 4-H Club, Mahajan Therapeutics, Mex-Itali Restaurant, Minford Bees 4-H Club, Peachtree Electronic Monitoring, Port 45 Recovery, Portsmouth City Health Department, R&R Rentals, Rural King, Scioto Ribber, Scioto Trail Rider’s 4-H Club, Shawnee Family Health, Showblender’s 4-H Club, Sonora’s Mexican Grill, Southern Hope Recovery, The Counseling Center, West Swiners 4-H Club, Wild Outsiders 4-H Club
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928
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