HOPE Center Reviews June Field Trips, Plans for Family Fun Day


HOPE Center Garden in Full Bloom

HOPE Center Garden in Full Bloom

“The recent rains have done a world of good for the Center’s garden,” said Project HOPE, executive director, Lori Hammer, during the monthly meeting this past Monday, June 16.  Hammer reviewed some of the past highlights with students from the Center, including two field trips which were held earlier in the month.    She said the turnout for the garden’s planting brought around 135 kids for the afternoon event.  A portion of the street by the Lincoln School was closed off as the kids also enjoyed a football game as a part of their activities.

HOPE Center Neighborhood Garden

HOPE Center Neighborhood Garden

The Center has requested needed funding from the philanthropic group, the El Pomar Foundation, and has been asked to supply budget information for the Center’s current and approaching fiscal year.  El Pomar sponsored 24 students from the Leadership program to a trip to visit Pueblo this past month, as well as a visit to the Center for American Values.  They also toured the city’s convention center and River Walk and were apparently impressed with the displays on view for Pueblo’s Medal of Honor recipients, commenting on their photographs and some of the quotes from the honorees.  Some students also visited the Big Timbers Museum and staying closer to home, have a trip planned for Wednesday, June 18, to Camp Amache in Granada.  Members of the HOPE Coalition have a trip planned to meet with the state’s Philanthropy Day Steering Committee in Trinidad.

Emily Nieschburg of LiveWell Prowers County, reported on the approaching Family Fun Day which will be hosted for its second year in Willow Creek Park.  “We had over 800 people turn out for the first all-day event and we’re hoping to see the numbers climb to around 1,000,” she told the Coalition.  She added that volunteers are needed, especially in the afternoon, to help organize the activities.  The Fun Day will be held on June 28, beginning with a family fun walk/ride/ride around the park with an 8:30am registration.  Other activities include a 10am bike rodeo featuring some mechanics who can provide simple repairs on kid’s bikes, a healthy lunch picnic will be held at noon with lunches for $3 or provide your own, free swimming to the first 400 kids from 1pm to 5pm and a multi-event, Family Field Day starting at 7pm with various kinds of competition.  As was the case last year, the evening will be highlighted with a free, family-oriented film in the park, using a remarkable inflatable movie screen which goes up in under 5 minutes.  Bring blankets and lawn chairs.

Coalition members also discussed the Center’s affiliation with the Southeast Colorado Substance Abuse Task Force.  Several members regularly attend the Task Force meetings which are open to the public, every other Wednesday at the Cultural Events Center from 1pm to 2pm.  The next meeting will be Wednesday, June 18.  Nicola Erb of the drug prevention group, Rise Up Colorado, will speak with the Center’s students at a future date.  The next HOPE Coalition meeting will be July 21.

By Russ Baldwin


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