Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1200396

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 20, 2014

Family fun day to be held

By Xiomara Levsen | Jun 18, 2014

This Sunday Hamakua Place will host a family fun day.

“We’ve had nothing to this magnitude before,” said Executive Director of Hamakua Place, Deb Bodensteiner. “We try to do a summer barbecue each year but nothing like this. It’s more of an outreach event than anything — just to provide a summer activity for the kids and their families.”

Beginning at 3 p.m. Davis Street will be blocked off to provide space for the 45-foot inflatable obstacle course, an inflatable jousting arena, face painting, ring toss, and a duck pond, Bodensteiner said.

“There’s a few games for littler ones, but we’re gearing it more for fifth grade up,” she said.

A pork burger barbecue dinner will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. A free-will offering will be taken, with funds from that going toward replacing the rest of the roof on the front of the building, Bodensteiner said.

“Four years ago we did the main part of the building and put steel on,” she said. “We just have this lower front part that needs to be addressed and we’re going to put steel on it.”

The activities for the family fun day came to her through God, Bodensteiner said.

“We had already planned a barbecue on June 28 and it just so happened I was contacted by someone from ‘The Fearless Tour,’ ” she said.

The Fearless Tour is a group of 40 individuals who were traveling from Kansas to Illinois and needed a place to stay in Iowa, Bodensteiner said. As part of the tour they bring the inflatables, a drama team, and some Christian bands.

Three Christian bands will perform Sunday evening, Bodensteiner said.

“The band that is coming in this weekend, Nine Lashes, is a nationally known band,” Bodensteiner said. “They have some songs playing on Christian radio stations, so they’ll be the draw Sunday night.”

The other two bands performing will be Piercing the Darkness and Eleutheria.

In between the band performances a 30-minute drama presentation will be given.

“That will be geared for the youth,” Bodensteiner said. “The evening event I would say fifth grade and up will be most appropriate because they’ll be addressing issues, teen issues, like cutting, suicide, and drinking, so it’s a pretty intense drama.”

This event is being held to help tell the community what activities Hamakua Place offers to teenagers in the community, Bodensteiner said.

“I hope that they [people who attend Sunday’s event] get a better handle on what we do here,” she said. “I hope that some of the kids bring their parents and that they just have a good time and get to know staff and my volunteers and have a better handle on what we offer the community.”

One thing people may not know about Hamakua Place is their hours don’t change during the summer, Bodensteiner said. They are open Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 9 p.m.

“Most of the kids in the summertime will go to the pool until about 6 and then come here,” Bodensteiner said.

On Wednesday evenings there is a faith-based youth group that meets for students entering sixth- through 12th-grade, she said.

This month Hamakua Place is celebrating its seventh year, Bodensteiner said.

“God has been really good,” she said. “We’re sound financially and it’s not like when we first started when we never knew if we were going to have money or not. We have a wonderful community of supporters and a lot of people that believe in what we’re doing.”

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