The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 29, 2013

Large crowd enjoys annual Community Event

JOHNSTOWN — Demichael Clarke Sr. had as much fun getting his white T-shirt painted with handprints as did the children painting him Saturday at the fifth annual Johnstown Community Event at the West End Playground along Route 56 in Oakhurst.

Painting his shirt were his children, Demichael Jr., 6, Delilah, 7, and Demarco, 4, plus other children. The children also were putting their handprints on trash receptacles as a reminder that they have taken ownership of the playground.

“I loved the event,” the elder Clark said. “The children are having fun.”

The event, sponsored by the city of Johnstown and the Johnstown chapter of Project Street Kids International, was held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It featured numerous activities, entertainment and demonstrations.

By mid-afternoon, between 2,700 and 3,000 people were estimated to have attended, said Renee Daly, director of the Community and Economic Development office for the city.

Every year, a different site is selected for the event, she said.

“This year, with the improvements that the city and Melissa Komar (land manager coordinator for the city) have done with the playground, it was an easy decision to choose the playground for the event,” she said.

PennDOT and the state Department of Environmental Resources provided the grant money to complete the playground renovations, she said.

Daly said she is thankful to the event’s other major sponsors – CTC Foundation, Somerset Trust, CJL Engineering, First Summit Bank and The EADS Group – for their support. There also were other sponsors plus plenty of volunteers, she said.

Michelle Harrington, who grew up near the playground, was at the event with her mother, Patricia, who still lives nearby, and her niece, Bailee Heider, who said the event was great.

“She (Bailee) likes it. She had her face painted,” Michelle Harrington said.

Nate Callaway of Johnstown said he went to the event with friends and the children of friends.

“I just think it’s an awesome thing what they have done for the children,” he said.

Krista Bell, who grew up a stone’s throw from the playground, was at the event with her husband, Jeff, and their daughter, Becca, and Becca’s friend, Lextyn Petz.

“We came so that the girls could participate in the festivities and so that I could reminiscence,” said Bell, who now lives in Westmont.

The city has been working to revitalize the community and the event and playground are two of many good efforts, she said.

Alexander Zidik was volunteering at the event with Sue Konvolinka at a booth sponsored by Matteo’s Herbs Galore in Morrellville.

Zidik said that after children painted a flower pot at the event, they came to their booth to plant herbs in the pot.

“I’m glad that the city is holding the event,” he said, adding that it means much to the children.

Brittany Hood, who lives nearby, was at the event with her fiance, Donald Sykes, and their daughter, Alyssa, 16 months. She said she loves the new playground and that the event was great.

John Slezak, of the West End Improvement Group, which helped to sponsor the event, said the event was an excellent one with many smiling children attending.

“They’re having a great time here,” he said.

Joanne Mekis, president of the Johnstown chapter of Project Street Kids, said the event was designed to get people excited about the city.

The organizers wanted to increase the pride that people feel about their neighborhoods, she said.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • foust_25 Teen shot in Oakhurst

    A 16-year-old New Jersey boy was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Thursday after being shot three times in the Oakhurst section of Johnstown.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Audit: City overspent by $700G in 2013

    Legacy costs contributed significantly to the city of Johnstown coming up $689,000 short in its core services funding during 2013.

    July 24, 2014

  • Kuzma, jonathan Guilty plea in hammer death

    The Johnstown man who authorities said killed his father with a hammer last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal homicide, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • quecreek rescue Events to mark anniversary of Quecreek rescue

    When word spread that nine Quecreek miners were trapped underground in July 2002, Bill Arnold’s dairy farm quickly became the rescue effort’s ground zero.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huger, Stephen Accused Hornerstown shooter will stand trial

    A Johnstown man will stand trial in connection with a July 12 shooting in the Hornerstown section of the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 24, 2014

  • Board names Zahorchak’s successor

    The Greater Johnstown school board at a special meeting Thursday named a superintendent to replace the retiring superintendent, rehired its last business manager and approved other administrative appointments.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pasquerilla, Mark Pasquerilla recognized as arts patron

    First lady Susan Corbett announced Thursday from the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pa., that Mark Pasquerilla of Johnstown has earned the Patron Award from the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebensburg gets ready to party

    Party down with a shutdown.
    Downtown Shutdown, a street party featuring music and food, will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday in downtown Ebensburg.

    July 24, 2014

  • ROTARY Local Rotary Club earns recognition

    The Rotary Club of Johnstown was named Outstanding Large Club of the Year in District 7330, which serves 42 Rotary Clubs in seven counties in southwest Pennsylvania, at the Rotary District 7330 and District 7300 Joint Conference that was held June 26 through 29 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads