We had high hopes for the 5th annual Jessie Games. Thanks to you and your prayers, we exceeded them.
With a rainy morning expected to continue throughout the afternoon, we admittedly had some concerns. But somehow, the showers past just in time for a welcome by Susan Rauscher, executive director Catholic Charities, and members of the Smith family.
A crowd of 250 filled Central Catholic’s field to enjoy new and classic carnival games. Kids raced their parents to pop balloons, Giant Jenga blocks were stacked and toppled, and of course, there were many dunks in the dunk tank.
We also created beautiful canvas paintings and debuted a children’s book: “The First Jessie Stone: how a little rock became so much more.”
Families stretched across the field to see who would be the last one standing for the water balloon toss, which ended in what has become another annual tradition: a massive water balloon fight. We brought back the “no-hands” watermelon eating contest, and the beloved Pittsburgh Pierogies arrived just in time to join the relay races. In between, kids made jewelry, had their faces painted and munched on popcorn. And as always, the day ended with blankets spread on the field for families to eat hamburgers and hot dogs.
While the activities and games were fun, the best part of the afternoon was something that happened throughout the day that everyone was a part of: joy, laughter and a lot of big smiles.
Oh, and one more thing: we set a goal of $35,000 – which seemed a little ambitious – but we topped it!
None of this would have been possible without our incredibly devoted and hard-working volunteers – some of which have been with us all five years – who came early to set up, stayed throughout the day to run the games, cooked the meal and cleaned up.
So to the volunteers, donors and participants: THANK YOU!