Enjoying coloring Easter eggs, under the watchful eyes of volunteers Karen Hamilton and Kate Johnson, are from left, Nicole Kelly, sisters Megan and Aubrey Shiver and Nico Mendez. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]
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Hope Park prepares for summer camp

At a fun-filled Palm Sunday spring festival, Hope Park in Eastpoint treated kids and parents alike to a taste of a summer camp program to come.

The park, which has developed into a full fledged ecumenical children’s ministry, offered everything from a hamburger and hot dog meal, to a cake walk, to dyeing of Easter eggs to a bounce house, a taste of what is to come during the summer camp program that runs from June 5 to the end of July.

Franklin County senior Mya Brown does face painting on Nico Mendez. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

Hope Park has been overseen by Kasey Gordon, full time director, but she and husband Kory, who runs a statewide men’s prison ministry, are moving at the end of the school year to Tampa, where there are a lot more housing opportunities for the transitioning men.

Hope Park has hired a neighborhood resident Nicole Campbell, who starts as director April 11.

Nicole Campbell, the soon-to-be director of Hope Park, holds up 3-year-old Lenin Rodriguez at the balloon pop booth. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

The park has enlisted the ongoing support of several churches, including the Forgotten Coast Community Church, Eastpoint Church of Christ, St. George Island United Methodist, First Baptist Church of Eastpoint, United Baptist Church, Redemption Point, and St. Patrick Catholic Church.

The current schedule has a Youth Night on Monday, a Movie Night on Thursday, Bible Trivia nights, a Wednesday program in the works by Pastor Cheryl Middleton and much more.

Kasey Gordon offers a prayer to the Spring Fest gathering. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

The big program will be this summer, when from Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., teenagers and extra staff will be on hand for a full-fledged camp, with a maximum of 25 kids per day, ages 5 to 14, taking part in everything from arts and crafts to animal planet to music to life skills to teaching of team building and Bible lessons. 

And of course there’s food and snacks. “Without school, where we live the kids don’t get the meals they get while they’re in school,” Gordon said.

Enjoying the Spring Fest are Cody Brannen, left, holding stepdaughter Madison Smith, 3 months old, and her mom Rebecca Carroll. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]

The park charges $60 a week per camper, to offset their costs, but knowing that most every child’s family cannot afford that, they are making an appeal to local groups and individuals to sponsor campers through scholarships, that will enable the kids in this hard-hit area a great summer experience.

To register kids for camp, or to offer a scholarship, visit hopeparkateastpointfl.com or email Gordon at [email protected] or call her at (850) 879-8524.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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