ENGLEWOOD — Saturday, August 27 the Northmont community gathered for the 2nd Annual Picnic in the Park (PITP) sponsored by Happy Corner Church of the Brethren.
A year’s worth of planning was finally set for an event to create even more ripples in the community than the previous year. Everyone was ready to help create transformation and prepared to host thousands of individuals and families for a day of fun, fellowship, entertainment and food. Building off the success of last year, more businesses, community organizations and individuals responded to sponsor the event (a 25 percent increase over last year)! Also, various school groups (football team, volleyball team, cheerleaders, art department) signed on to volunteer along with the Englewood, Clayton, Union and Clay Township fire and police departments.
Then the unexpected happened. The weather forecast turned and despite Happy Corner’s praise team’s singing of “The Great Storm is Over,” the Northmont area received one of the worst thunderstorms of the summer with high winds starting around 3 p.m., right at the start of the PITP. Quickly folks took action to minimize any damage and then waited for the storm to pass through. The gathering quickly went from summer fun to the reality show Survivor.
Almost 2 hours later the sun began to shine and the PITP underwent another transformation. The bouncy houses began to inflate, power was restored, music began to echo through the park, and children resumed their play. The day closed with a magician who claimed to set himself on fire purely for everyone’s enjoyment. There was certainly fun, fellowship, entertainment, and plenty of food, but this year event moved in ways that no one had planned or prepared for.
The remaining food prepared that day was taken to downtown Dayton later in the day to help feed the homeless, while the water and food items not prepared will be used for Happy Corner’s Community Meal (Monday nights), upcoming gospel concert (Sept. 16) , and other events Happy Corner is sponsoring. Volunteers, vendors and sponsors stayed over an hour longer to serve the community. Folks in the community worked together in the storm, holding down tents and tarps to keep things dry. The fire and police departments rushed out from the park to help our neighbors and those in need during the storm.
PITP event not only survived the storm but received unexpected blessings this year as building relationships continued in our community!