First UMC dedicates some special new spots

The new bench dedicated to educators Ralph Howes Sr. and Pam Wampler.

Ralph Howes and Bill Wampler at the dedication of the playground area.

The playground.

Photos and information by Bob Wellinski

(Click photos to enlarge)

First United Methodist Church of LaPorte dedicated three special sites Sunday, July 31, 2017, one honoring two longtime members. Launched in the spring, the projects are all focused toward children.

The highlight of the day was the dedication and ribbon cutting of a new playground on

Pam Wampler

the church’s east side, along Monroe Street. The playground is dedicated to longtime Crichfield Elementary School Principal Ralph Howes and longtime teacher, the late Pam Wampler, who passed away in May. Because of their love of children, Ralph and Bill Wampler, Pam’s husband, each gave a generous donation toward the playground, matching funds raised by the church.

The playground project was orchestrated by Doug Latham and Matthew Brown and was completed through the efforts of the congregation, fundraisers, donations and sweat equity.

Mr. Howes at the ceremony.

The other projects:

A room was refurbished from top to bottom to create a new nursery. Matthew and Ashley Brown, Kaelynn and Matt Deckard, Andrew and Jenn Kmitta, and Rip Ludlow spent many hours working on the room.

And a new youth room and adjoining game room were also officially opened. The youth room includes a worship area, refreshment area and meeting area. Colorful chairs for the refreshment area were made by the former pastor from pallets. A 6-foot-wide section of a 19-inch-thick concrete wall was cut out to connect the youth room and game room.

Youth Director Jennifer Casper said the success of the new rooms was the result of generous donations and hard work from the congregation. During her speech, she thanked the many people who made the project successful. Casper invited youth from the community to join them in enjoying the new rooms.

A couple of forever kids try out the new equipment.

Younger church members also took part in the dedication.

This photo and the ones below: The youth room, game room and nursery.

One Response to “First UMC dedicates some special new spots”

  1. Jennifer Casper

    Aug 02. 2017

    The youth meet every Sunday- 4:00-5:00 in the game room followed by snacks and activities. This fall, we are beginning an all ages Wednesday night program that begins at 5:00 with dinner and then activities for all ages from nursery to adults. Anyone is welcome to come!

    Reply to this comment

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