Windsor Heights events offer old-time fun

WINDSOR HEIGHTS – Village officials and members of a local church offered Windsor Heights residents and visitors some old-fashioned fun in two separate events Sunday.

Leaders and members of Windsor Heights Church of God teamed to offer inflatable attractions for children and a picnic menu for all ages Sunday afternoon. And Windsor Heights council members, Mayor James Smith, his wife Janice and others teamed to present an ice cream social at the village’s senior center Sunday evening.

The Rev. Lori Williams, church pastor, said it was coincidence the two events fell on the same day but she was pleased the church and village officials both were able to offer some family fun.

Williams explained the cookout is an annual tradition that follows the church’s Vacation Bible School and includes a distribution of backpacks filled with school supplies for the children.

Local resident Jennifer Gibson and her father, Kim Mattis, performed country music on guitars to entertain those attending.

Marilyn Pavlic, a member of the church, said the event comes together each year through teamwork.

“It’s a small church – we don’t have a huge congregation – but we work together,” she said.

Williams said the church also received a boost from residents of Brooke Place, a group home for girls, who volunteered to assist with the Vacation Bible School and the picnic.

“Those girls are really nice – very polite,” said John Kokosinski, a member of the church.

Marisa Shreve, a childcare worker at Brooke Place, said the girls are given the opportunity to participate in community events as they choose.

Later that day, residents enjoyed ice cream with an assortment of toppings provided and served up by village council members at the Windsor Heights Senior Center, which also doubles as a community center.

Windsor Heights Patrolman Darren Hanna was on hand to photograph and fingerprint children and provide information sheets for their parents to complete.

Hanna also supplied booklets detailing how parents can protect their children and produced by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other federal agencies.

Hanna also secured a $450 grant from Wal-Mart that covered part of the Polaroid camera’s cost and the cost of 22 bicycle helmets distributed to children Sunday.

The Wellsburg Kiwanis Club also made a monetary donation for the event.

It also included entertainment by The Un4gettables, a Pittsburgh barbershop quartet that performed, face painting offered by volunteer Kathryn Davis and earthworm races led by Councilwoman Karen Clyne.

Clyne drew a circle on a paper tablecloth before setting six earthworms onto it and encouraging the children to clap for their worms to be the first to touch the circle’s boundary.

Nine-year-old Maxwell Fink of Wellsburg received a prize after his worm touched it first.

“If nothing else, it was good for a laugh,” Clyne said of the “race.”

Windsor Heights officials noted in previous years the village sponsored a community picnic with live music or a disc jockey and other activities, but financial constraints led them to offer something different this year.

Janice Smith said the decision to hold an indoor event was fortunate in light of Sunday’s sporadic rain showers.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)