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Grace UMC Hosts Annual Back-To-School Carnival

072716 Grace UMC Carnival Kid with Fish paint BW.jpg
072716 Grace UMC School Fair Nick B Loon B W.jpg

By Alex Haglund

“C’mon in. There’s free hot dogs, and there’s facepainting, and so much to do,” said Ron Brown, the new director of the school supplies ministry at Grace United Methodist Church in Nashville, welcoming a family into the event.

Grace’s annual school supply carnival was held this Saturday morning, July 23, and while the sweltering heat canceled the event’s bounce houses and moved everything else inside, overall, things were still going as planned.

While this is Brown’s first year in charge of this event, “I’ve been at the church 53 years,” he says, “and I get greater thrill out of this because I see these kids out here.”

At the carnival, kids get a backpack and a bunch of school supplies tailored to their grade level. It’s open to children in preschool/pre-K through eighth grade and it’s an event many children (and their parents) look forward to every year. It is free of cost any any children from the area, not just children that go to Grace UMC for church, can come and get supplies.

A change for this year (other than the weather) was Bibles available along with the supplies. Kids could take a Bible if they wanted and for an new addition, it was popular, said Brown.

“Next year, we’re going to order more,” Brown said, “especially more of the children’s Bibles.”

Along with the activities, food and refreshments, there was also a giveaway of 10 sets of Nashville Dollars at $25 each. The winners could use them anywhere in Nashville to buy children’s shoes or school supplies.

Other activities included balloon art, courtesy of Dr. Nick B. Loon, sand art, facepainting and fun hair color.

Brown wasn’t the only volunteer at the event proud of the event either. Everyone present was happy to help the kids that came through and see the smiles on their faces.

“It’s one of the best things that our church does for the community,” said Margaret Snyder.

RIGHT, Dr. Nick B. Loon crafts balloon animals and toys for a line of kids. ABOVE, Cole Matlock shows off the fish he got painted on his face.