July 19 is the anniversary of the 1977 Johnstown Flood, but this event isn’t a commemoration.
The Flood Event, a community block party, will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 19 at Sandyvale Memorial Gardens & Conservancy, 80 Hickory St., Johnstown.
Organizers want to offer something fun, family-friendly and positive to the residents of Johnstown.
“When we set the date, we never thought of it being the anniversary of the flood,” said Donna Crowe of Cornerstone Leadership Foundation.
“We want to celebrate compassion and community spirit. We want to come together and help. We need to rebuild Johnstown’s compassion and spirit.”
The first-time Christian ministry event is sponsored by Cornerstone Leadership Foundation, with partners Oakland United Methodist Church, St. James Missionary Baptist Church, Sweet Frog and Miller’s Martial Arts.
The co-chairs of The Flood Event are Gary Hale and Chrissy Rummel.
In his crusade to flood Johnstown with God’s love, Hale is citing two Scripture passages in relation to The Flood Event.
Isaiah 58:12, from the New Living Translation, states, “Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.”
This is what Hale hopes the organizers of the event will accomplish.
The New Living Translation of Philippians 2:2 states, “Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another and working together with one mind and purpose.”
This is what Hale hopes those who serve and those who attend will take away.
Hale has taken the song “Do Something” by Christian singer Matthew West as a battle cry for the event.
In the song, a Christian is looking at the present state of the world and shaking his fist at heaven, asking, “God, why don’t you do something?”
God answers him, “I did. I created you.”
The Christian then goes on to say, “If not us, then who? If not me and you? Right now, it’s time for us to do something. If not now, then when will we see an end to all this pain? It’s not enough to do nothing. It’s time for us to do something.”
The Flood Event will showcase a variety of Christian ministries and services available in the area, which can assist people in turning their life around and experiencing hope and healing through Jesus Christ.
Ministries can set up booths and donate prizes or gift baskets.
The free festival celebrating life will feature music, entertainment, family fun, a flea market, prizes and free food.
Scheduled entertainers are Bad Girls of the Bible and contemporary Christian band Calvary Cross on the main stage; In His Hand Puppets and Children’s Evangelism Fellowship for grades 3-6 on the children’s stage; and Will Pinos on the lounge stage.
Miller’s Martial Arts will demonstrate karate, and Scoop, the mascot from Sweet Frog, and Classic Clowns will roam the park.
Anyone willing to help may contact Flood Event staff by email at email@example.com.
“We need people to help with the children’s ministry, setting up and directing traffic and parking,” Hale said.
“We need these and many other areas of help.”
Donations also can be made to help purchase food, cover the cost of insurance, security, porta-potties, rental of the park and other expenses.
Checks should be made payable to Cornerstone Leadership Foundation and mailed to 928 Haverford St., Johnstown, Pa. 15905.
What: The Flood Event.
Where: Sandyvale Memorial Gardens & Conservancy, 80 Hickory St., Johnstown.
When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 19.
Information: 619-8257, 255-7965 or thefloodevent.com.
Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/RuthRiceTD.