The block party Saturday, Sept. 7, in the 1800 block of Hope Street attracted a large group of children of all ages, where the sponsoring Scott’s Chapel United Methodist Church was joined by other United Methodist churches to give the youngsters a fun day.
The Hannibal Police Department - represented by Cpl. Jonathan Borgmeyer and Officer Lacey Colborn - gave the children 50 basketballs, and the church provided a goal in the street for them to practice their hoops.
At the other end of the block, Thomas Dickerson and other children were climbing in a Hannibal Fire Department truck, as firefighters Alex White and HFS engineer Chris Comer explained how the equipment is used.
Nearby, a Marion County ambulance was being explored by Juston Nelson, 4, while its personnel, Stephen Simpson and Stephanie Houser, identified its life-saving equipment.
The Rev. Linda Spaun, pastor of Scott’s Chapel UMC, said the basketballs, food and other items were given away, following instructions in the Bible. “The Biblical idea behind this is, when we give a banquet or a party, Jesus said, we are to invite everybody and not expect a reward. This is our party for the neighborhood.”
Hydesburg UMC brought the games, Spaun added. “They do that every year” for the block party.
A “marshmallow shooters” game was being played by Da’Marion Kenneth Williams and Precious Colbert.
Kashonna Burney was throwing balls in a nearby game, and teen-ager Daisha Fernando was adding fancy dance steps to tossing balls in her game.
Prizes were being awarded, and 4-year-old Joenosha Williams had discovered how far she could stretch her new Slinky.
Alyssa Thomas was sitting very still to have her face painted as a butterfly.
Earlier Saturday, Spaun explained, the block party had a “cookie walk” with children standing on numbered squares. “When their number was called they won cookies,” Spaun said.
The game and the home-baked cookies were provided by the youth from First UMC in Hannibal.
Hamburgers and hot dogs were being grilled, and Gloria Robinson was in a cloud of smoke as she grilled hamburgers with Reba Williams. Toni Rose was serving them to everyone.
Spaun pointed out that her church members were wearing bright green shirts that said, “Serve 2013,” designating they were participating in a special weekend when Methodists across Missouri were doing service projects.
She said all the United Methodist churches in Missouri were “invited to do things to serve their community this weekend.”
For more photos, see photo gallery.