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McKeesport Good Neighbor Day a success despite weather woes

Jennifer R. Vertullo | For Trib Total Media - At last year's Good Neighbor Day, McKeesport Area School District's K-5 math coordinator Jennifer Knight helped 4-year-old Aymeric 'Bamm-Bamm' Kashuba squirt water at the number 5, while Aymeric's mother Jenni Kashuba watched. One purpose of the annual event along Fifth Avenue in downtown McKeesport is to offer games and crafts for visitng children.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo  |  For Trib Total Media</em></div>At last year's Good Neighbor Day, McKeesport Area School District's K-5 math coordinator Jennifer Knight helped 4-year-old Aymeric 'Bamm-Bamm' Kashuba squirt water at the number 5, while Aymeric's mother Jenni Kashuba watched. One purpose of the annual event along Fifth Avenue in downtown McKeesport is to offer games and crafts for visitng children.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - The Mitchell family -- Lavelle, Stanley, Jazmine and Renea -- of McKeesport brave the rain to take part in Good Neighbor Day on Thursday.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>The Mitchell family -- Lavelle, Stanley, Jazmine and Renea -- of McKeesport brave the rain to take part in Good Neighbor Day on Thursday.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - Dayshaun Watkins and Keith Titus, both 7, of McKeesport sort through goody bags during Good Neighbor Day activities on Thursday.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>Dayshaun Watkins and Keith Titus, both 7, of McKeesport sort through goody bags during Good Neighbor Day activities on Thursday.

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By Christy Walters
Friday, June 20, 2014, 3:46 a.m.
 

A few raindrops couldn't keep residents of McKeesport away from the city's 51st annual Good Neighbor Day.

Postponed a week because of rain, the weather was still uncooperative for Good Neighbor Day on Thursday, but didn't dampen the fun.

Patrons, under the shelter of umbrellas, browsed booths filled with food, games and information along Fifth Avenue.

“Unfortunately what we thought was going to happen last week happened this week,” McKeesport recreation director Jim Brown said. “It's just rain though, not storms. We had some cancellations because some people couldn't make it to the new week but we're making the best of it and still having fun.”

Wet conditions didn't stop the Mitchell family of McKeesport from hitting the streets.

“We're having fun and enjoying the day,” Stanley Mitchell said. “It's always great to come down to the community day.”

His wife, Renea, said the family was going to enjoy the day, despite the weather.

“We've been bringing our kids Lavelle and Jazmine down here since they were little. The rain doesn't bother us.”

Linda Ross brought her niece, Eliza Waters, 6, to the fair.

“We were already out anyway and we decided to stop over. She's having a good time,” Ross said.

Eliza said she enjoyed the fish pond game the most because it was a lot of fun.

McKeesport Area School District sponsored a booth to provide information about school attendance to members of the community. McKeesport Elementary Math Coordinator Jenn Knight played a math game with children who stopped by.

“We've had lots of kids come up to our booth today, and not just kids from McKeesport,” said Amy O'Grady, a fifth-grade teacher at Twin Rivers Primary/Intermediate School. “We've had kids from Elizabeth Forward, South Park and West Jefferson Hills. We've drawn in a lot of kids from different communities.”

Monica Hancharik and her grandson, Peyton, showed that workers could enjoy the day, too.

“I'm running the McKeesport First Steps Parenting booth. We're working today but we're also enjoying the food and he's enjoying the games,” she said.

McKeesport Fair Housing Officer Angelia Christina and volunteer JoEllen Kenney were happy to be working at a booth dedicated to getting public input about the McKeesport comprehensive plan and spreading the McKeesport message. They ran a fish pond game for the children, too.

“The rain isn't bothering us any, the kids can fish in the rain,” Kenney said.

Christina was excited to spread the city's motto.

“The McKeesport message is Respect, Hope, Dignity and Love,” she said. “Look around at the community day. That's exactly what we're trying to show here.”

Christy Walters is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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