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Church to offer free family fun

August 6, 2011
By WARREN SCOTT - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

WELLSBURG - Local families looking for some summer fun but finding their cash supply a bit low are encouraged to visit Brooke Hills Free Methodist Church on Aug. 13.

The church will offer free food, entertainment and a variety of family-oriented activities from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during its 7th annual Community Day.

Spearheaded by the church's outreach committee, the event will include a classic car cruise, quilt show inside the church's air-conditioned sanctuary, music by The Experience, a contemporary Christian band; hay rides, a pie-eating contest, free picnic-style food and games for children.

Sharon Jackson, chairman of the outreach committee, said there will be many more inflatable attractions for children than last year as well as a climbing wall, A Bug's Life obstacle course and a Pitstop Challenge, a game in which children assume the role of a race car pit crew.

She added door prizes donated by members and local businesses will be awarded each half-hour.

The annual event involves church members of all ages, many of whom have lent their particular talents. For example, avid gardeners in the church will be sharing their produce with attendees.

But the church also welcomes non-members to contribute. Rich and Cindy Farer, coordinators of the car cruise welcome owners of vintage vehicles to participate in the car cruise. For information, they may call (724) 345-3657.

The quilt show also has showcased quilts made or owned by people in and outside the church, some of them more than 100 years old. Participants are encouraged to include a handwritten story behind their quilts.

Those interested in participating should call (304) 737-0186.

The Farers also plan to display some antique clothing they have collected.

Jackson said there also will be several agencies inside the church with information about the services they provide.

She said the free event was begun simply to get the church's name out to the public.

Members of the church also were involved this summer in an unusual campaign to promote good will in the community.

One Sunday in June, members manned the pumps at five gas stations and picked up the tab for their customers, paying for a total amount based on the number of pumps at each.

The Rev. Bryce Grieco, the church's pastor, said the effort - known as a gas buy-down and done by churches in other states - was made during regular church hours to encourage non-church members to attend any Christian church, not necessarily Brooke Hills Free Methodist.

Jackson said response to the effort was very positive, with some patrons using their cellular phones to tell others how surprised they were by the gesture.

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