Aug 2021 Back to School Community Picnic
by Lori St.Vincent, Director of Community Connections
After taking the last couple of years off from hosting this event, Immanuel’s Back-to-School Community Picnic came roaring back on Sunday, August 22.
We began at 10 AM with inspirational worship led by Pastor Chis and our Youth Praise Band. The music was outstanding and Pastor Chris’ message about the difference between simply believing in God and being a true follower of Christ was on point and meaningful. While our adult Praise Team took the stage to share their songs of praise and worship, Ryan Marino and his family set up an amazing buffet that included brats, hot dogs, grilled onions and peppers, baked beans, potato salad, and chicken wings with three types of sauce. Everything was homemade and scrumptious. The spread was prepared for 150 people and disappeared in 45 minutes! To round out the meal, ice water, juice boxes, Rice Krispie treats, and fruit snacks were available. Special thanks to Nancy Radtke, Keith Bartelmey, Dan and Mary Jo Nottke who helped Ryan and his family feed the masses.
As the Youth Praise Band returned to continue sharing their beautiful music, children and adults played giant pick up sticks, giant Jenga, giant Dominos, giant matching game, Yardzee, and Bags. A bounce house was also available for those who needed to burn off a little extra energy. Many wonderful volunteers were there to help with games, supervise the bounce house, and to assist children at the craft tables that provided a different type of entertainment. The afternoon continued with an outstanding music set provided by Mike Cruger. Mike played contemporary Christian and soft rock hits in his signature low key, but compelling style. Games, crafts, and the bounce house continued to entertain, as did Wendy Nelson at the face painting table. As the only face painter, she decorated sweet little faces for four hours straight! There was also a photo booth for families to take back-to-school pictures against a school locker backdrop.
We estimate more than 200 visitors and gratefully thank more than 60 volunteers for this incredible community outreach event. Your participation helped Immanuel touch the lives of members of our community in the name of Jesus. Thank you.