Friday, the 23rd of June, was our very special St. John’s Festival Day. Although some were wondering whether or not the promised thunder storms would ruin the occasion, their concerns were unfounded. With the exception of a hardly recognizable sprinkle that lasted a couple of minutes, the weather cooperated fully. It wasn’t completely sunny, but no one complained about that.

As usual, the day started with a meeting of the St. John’s “family” under the tent. It is the custom to kick off the official proceedings with an interdenominational prayer service. Brother Tom Trager, Executive Director, offered some reflections during which he emphasized the importance of realizing our responsibility to our brothers and sisters, not only in the St. John’s family, but in the community.

Following Brother Tom’s presentation, all were given the opportunity to offer names of individuals to be remembered in prayer. They concluded their petitions with a solid and triple Amen.

Although the “official” ceremony took place at 10:15, there was a boardwalk run at 9:00 am. This year, there were two categories; both staff and residents were invited to compete. First, second and third place awards were given in each of the two categories. Resident, Mario Danner, took first place. St. John’s staff member, Tamer Seoud, came in second in the overall race and captured the first prize medal for staff. The second place staff medal went to Richie Gomez, and the third went to Matthew Encarnacion. Matthew is a resident, not a staff member, but he insisted on being put in the staff category. Second place among the residents went to Gary Montague, and the third to Ben Fuller. A look at the accompanying photos will show their proud faces.

Under the supervision of Mr. Clint Morman, long time staff member at St. John’s Food Services and his assistants, Jennie Roundtree and Jason Butcher, made a wonderful meal for all in attendance. Ms. Rita Tortorelli, the Chairman of the St. John’s Day Committee and “mastermind” of the program, saw to it that staff volunteers were recruited to serve the well received buffet, which included burgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs, fish, corn on the cob, macaroni and cheese, salads, water melon, ice cream and cake. A special thanks to Mr. Steve Good, of the Beach Club. Steve donated racks of ribs for the occasion.

The rest of the day was filled with a variety of activities which projected a lot of excitement and participation not only among the residents, but also their family, siblings and friends. Some of the activities included a basketball game, a visit from the Pepper Steppers who put on a double dutch exhibition, a visiting face painting and balloon sculpting clown, a half moon swing ride, two crafts tables where you could make a sand art necklace or a beaded bracelet, potato sack races, the drawing of prizes for both staff and boys, a cake contest, a “guess how many can tops in the jar” contest, and a 50/50 drawing. The background for the whole occasion was accompanied by music thanks to staff member, Rob Alexander. He is an excellent DJ and Master of Ceremonies. His music enticed some impromptu dancing. It looks as though we will have a little dance contest as part of our St. John’s Festival for 2007.

This joyful and upbeat St. John’s celebration is one of the highlights of the year. We are deeply appreciative to all of the vendors and other individuals who have contributed toward the success of the occasion through cash donations or materials and products. God bless them all. Click here for more St. John's Day pictures.


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Saint John's Residence for Boys

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