Cornerstone United Methodist Church (UMC) and Second Presbyterian Church, both of Portsmouth are collaborating to bring a sense of hope to the local community by sponsoring the ‘Hope Fest’ on Saturday, Aug. 20., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Clark Athletic Complex, the Old Gymnasium adjacent to Portsmouth High School.
Hope Fest will assist parents in getting their children ready for the school year with free shoes, school supplies, hair cuts, and hygiene items. Tim Roth, senior pastor of Cornerstone UMC said the idea originated through six months of prayer.
“Our goal is to help families who could use an extra boost, that’s is where the whole idea came from,” Roth said. “We started thinking and praying about doing something about six months ago.”
The Hope Fest will bring hope by providing 500 pairs of shoes through an organization called, Samaritan’s Feet,
“We will be able to provide 500 pairs of shoes through Samaritan’s Feet. They are going to come here and set up, and Second Presbyterian is going to provide the school supplies, with back packs,” Roth said. “Mark Hunter also called a few week ago, and he is going to be set up there, and will provide some Power Packs. Mark heard about the Hope Fest, and provides meals this time of year, and so he is going to be set up there as well.”
Additionally, the first 500 children that arrive at Hope Fest will receive a free t-shirt. A host on vendors have volunteered to come and provide hot dogs, and other light refreshments.
Live entertainment will be provided by Mark Wood, of the Mark Wood Fun Show of Jackson, Ohio to perform magic tricks that are known by many to put smiles on the faces of many children.
“I was talking with one of the members of their church, and we realized that we were both going to be doing something like this on a smaller scale on the same day, and we just decided to have one event,” Roth said. “Portsmouth City Schools told us that we could use the old gym, and the Clark Athletic Complex, which is going to give us a lot of room that we are really going to need, because 500 pairs of shoes, and 500 back packs is going to take up a lot of room. So, we are just really excited about Hope Fest, and working with Second Pres. to help our community.”
Carl Daehler, of Second Presbyterian, said they have hosted similar back to school functions in the past.
“We have done this about three years, and this year Cornerstone was going to do it, and few of our members got together with a few of our members and just decided let’s just all work together,” Daehler said. “The people from our church that are coordinating our end are Becky Adkins and Michel Raies. This event has continued to get bigger, and we’ve outgrown space, so we were given use of the Portsmouth High School gym on the corner of Eighth and Waller streets.”
Daehler said they are expecting a tremendous turn out at Hope Fest.
“We are excited, and are anticipated a great turn out, and we have been able to get a lot of volunteers, and work with some local vendors to provide this. It will be a nice event, just a nice time for our community, and to help children be prepared to begin the upcoming school year,” Daehler said.
Children must be present to receive items that will be distributed.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.