The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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August 17, 2013

Mount Hope holds Back to School Bash

Mount Hope hosted its second community event of the summer Saturday — the Back to School Bash Community Water Party at the Mount Hope Municipal Stadium.

Jessica Zukowski, coordinator for the Family Friendly Community Project, said her organization is trying to help Mount Hope become a community where young families want to be.

“Our Wheel Parade in June was very successful, so we asked them what they wanted to do next, and they said, ‘Water, water, water!’”

The Wheel Parade brought dozens of kids of all ages onto Main Street to ride their bikes and other wheels on the newly paved streets.

The Back to School Bash Water Party was filled with just what the kids requested — water, water, water!

The event kicked off with a water balloon fight, then kids could enjoy a bounce house, super soakers, a slip-n-slide and small swimming pools filled with hula hoops for bubble-making.

Zukowski said Carelink provided a grant to Mount Hope, which paid for the bounce house, and it will be used at many other community events.

“After the Boy Scouts bought the land, we wanted to figure out how we can attract families to come to our town. You can’t grow the population or the economy without young families, and young families want kid-friendly events in the community.”

Families and children were invited to enjoy the day free of charge, but they were welcome to make school supply donations to benefit Mount Hope Elementary School.

Zukowski said two boxes and six backpacks had been collected so far, full of pencils, notebooks, crayons and more.

The next community event will be “Trunk or Treat” on Halloween, where kids are invited to trick-or-treat from car to car in the lot surrounding the Municipal Stadium.

“This is a safer experience,” Zukowski said.

She also said parents will know that the vendors are at the event because they want to be, not just because they have kids trick-or-treating at their door.

Zukowski said this event will run concurrently with Mount Hope’s trick-or-treating, but some parents may opt for “Trunk or Treat” versus the typical door to door method.

The community events are being sponsored by the City of Mount Hope, The Mount Hope Family Friendly Community Project, The Mount Hope Children’s Health Council and a grant from Carelink.

For more information, contact Zukowski at 1-859-200-7221 or

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