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Party in the park planned for dads and children

| July 30, 2018

COSHOCTON – With the help of neighborhood churches, the Coshocton County Fatherhood Initiative created an evening of free, family friendly activities on July 26 at Himebaugh Park.

“We are part of the summer lunch program here at the park and it’s just the kids that are around then,” said William Johnson, chairman of the fatherhood initiative. “We got to thinking this is the community’s park and it would be nice to have dad’s come here too. Then we realized there were four or five churches in the area so we starting asking if they would like to partner with us on an event and they came up with things like the face painting, slip and slide and bounce house and then the Pomerene Center jumped in too and is having the kids make drums.”

Participants also enjoyed popcorn, water, hot dogs and pizza from Papa John’s, who provided coupons for Johnson to pass out to dads who brought their kids to enjoy the party in the park.

“We are all about family, but dads are our target,” Johnson said. “They need to be involved in their kids’ lives and interact with them.”

In addition to planning events like the A Father’s Party in the Park, the fatherhood initiative also offers parenting classes for dads.

“He (Williams Johnson) is the best instructor I’ve ever found,” said Josh Neill. “He helped give me a better understanding of how to be a father and interact with my child. The classes were a great thing for me.”

Deanna Lanham also spoke highly of the classes the fatherhood initiative offers to dads.

“Her dad took the classes and I think they really help a first-time dad,” Lanham said.

She was standing in the face painting line with her 4-year-old daughter Keyari Grimmett.

“Everybody likes face painting,” said Pastor Mark Granger from New Life Ministries. “Ed (Gallagher) asked us to help with this and we just happened to have a face painter in the church.”

They also hosted a basketball hoop shoot game.

“We used candy as prizes and I think everyone’s gotten a piece, young and old alike,” Granger said.

He added that they were happy to help with the event.

“It’s always good to get people in the community out,” Granger said. “Everyone worked together and we were able to have a lot of nice stuff going on.”

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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