Violet Cooper asked me to stop by her house. She wanted to show me a DVD about her grandson...how he had a dream...and how he reached his goals. It was a very impressive slideshow. I think it may have been titled, "Dreams Do Come True". At age 13, Patrick decided he wanted to be a pilot, so his dad, Paul, gave him flying lessons. He became an Air Force cadet at age 14. He graduated from Cathedral Prep and just turned 18. He is going to Penn State this fall to study civil engineering. He was accepted into the Air Force ROTC and was awarded a four-year scholarship. His grandmother is very proud of him. It was nice to visit with Violet and to learn about her amazing grandson.
As I said last week, we were visiting in Florida with Kacie. I did get back in time to snap a few shots at the Port Allegany Alliance Church Vacation Bible School. The Monkey Island Series of VBS is very popular with the kids. The adults put a lot of hard work into their lessons and the decorations are amazing! If you didn't know you were in a church in Port Allegany, you would think you were in a jungle somewhere. I heard they had a great week...I'm just sorry I don't have more pictures to tell that story.
The Community-wide VBS is taking place this week. It, too, has been pretty amazing. I've been to VBS every year since I can remember. Individual church used to have their own...and sometimes I'd attend three or four a year. I remember going to one at the Baptist Church and I think Dru Ford was my teacher...and Aldean Manning was there, too. I also went to one at the Covenant Church one year. I remember getting a ring (one of my favorite things then...and still now - 50 some years later!). I started helping with Bible School the year I went from sixth grade to seventh grade. I started teaching the pre-schoolers at age 14 at my church. After VBS went community-wide, I've had a hand in it one way or another. I taught for many, many years...then did registration and publicity, was the director for a couple of years (hard, hard job!) and even helped with snacks. That's only surprising to those who know I'm not that great in the kitchen. After my full-time involvement ended, I still attend VBS while taking pictures for the newspaper...something that I also used to do while teaching or helping in other ways. I get the most joy watching kids, some who don't have religious education throughout the year, learn about God. They have so many questions and seem so eager to learn.
This is, by far, my favorite VBS. It's exciting; it's got something for everyone - music, crafts, stories, games...and snacks! There is never a dull moment. The volunteers are great! There are a lot of new faces this year including VBS director JT Maddison and his wife. I mean no disrespect to anyone who has been in charge in the past, as I said before I'd been in that spot more than once. We always have music, crafts, stories and games...so, I'm not sure what's different...but there is a certain energy. The community-wide event has always been great and this year is no exception.
There are lots of VBS kids who took advantage of both the Alliance and Community-wide events. They are free and open to all kids. I feel bad for the children who missed them.
The Youth Counselors are sponsoring two Splash Parties - one will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10 for the elementary kids (those who have completed grades K through 6), and another on Thursday, August 11 for the high school kids. That party will be from 8 - 10.