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People & Places

Project RISE hosts dinner theater for homeless families

12/12/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Photos courtesy of Project RISE
DOWNTOWN AKRON — This fall, several families experiencing homelessness were able to experience a special dinner theater event hosted by Project RISE and First United Methodist Church of Akron. This special event was part of the Project RISE PACT (Performing Arts Can Teach) Program.

Attendees enjoyed a dinner provided by the church, information tables and activities provided by several community partners and a performance of “Bunnicula” by actors from the Magical Theatre Company, of Barberton. Attendees were given educational Study Guides and also copies of the “Bunnicula” book.

The dinner portion of the event was coordinated by Lila Nissel and her team of volunteers at the church. Tables were decorated with pumpkin centerpieces, and spooky tunes were played in the background to set the stage for a fun, festive night. 

Before dinner, participants had the opportunity to visit several craft and information tables. Face painting was available, and First Book of Greater Akron had a giveaway table in which each child was given a new book. There also were representatives from Buckeye Community Health Plan and Akron Summit Community Action’s Head Start Program sharing information

After the performance, participants were invited to visit a final giveaway table where Project RISE was giving away several items that had been donated to the program. These giveaways included books, notebooks, folders and pens from Feed the Children and shampoo from L’Oreal. On departure, children were given bags of goodies to celebrate trick-or-treat.

Shown in the photo above, from left, Project RISE Service Learner Shauna Jenney and staff members Megan Heavrin and Lori Howard stand at the Giveaway Table.

A student is shown above right displaying artwork made at the event.

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