Mary N. Campbell Resource Center Celebrates Family Fun Day
by James Coulter
Chances are you’ve probably never heard of the Mary N. Campbell Resource Center. Even Lake Wales residents who live nearby have hardly heard of it. That’s why this small community center near Hunt Brothers Road hosted its Family Fun Day.
The Mary N. Campbell Resource Center in Lake Wales showcased its facility and its many resources and programs, all while offering fun activities and games for local families, during its special event last Saturday.
Local children and their families had the opportunity to create arts and crafts, play games and win prizes, enjoy a free hot dog lunch, and dance along to music during this most special day.
Several “creation stations” were set up to allow young attendees to paint door knockers, craft Valentine’s Day cards, and plant a seed in a pot. After exerting their energy with various fun and games, they and their family could eat a free lunch with hot dogs, potato chips, and soft drinks.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office also attended to promote their services in the local community. The community center also promoted several of its programs, including its literacy program by offering free books.
The Mary N. Campbell Resource Center offers a diverse selection of services to the local community. Visitors are free to use their computers, phones, and copy machines, and they can even rent a room for events such as parties and other social gatherings.
The community center also offers after school programs to young children and GED and ESOL programs for older residents seeking to obtain their high school diploma and further their education and careers.
“We are trying to reach out to the community and make [ourselves] known,” said Josh Wood, center coordinator. “I don’t know if a lot of people know if we are back here in this area. We are a public community center, trying to reach out, let people know that we are here and that we offer services.”
The Family Fun Day drew in a decent turnout of at least 120 attendees by noon. This was the first event that the center hosted for quite some time, especially in light of these uncertain times, Wood said.
“We are feeling what the community wants,” he said. “We are serving [them] and going to reflect on what we can offer…and reach out to the community and see what we can cater to this area,” he said.
One program they promoted through the event was their literacy program, which helps residents obtain their GED. Several English classes are hosted in the morning and afternoon as well.
Ashely Perez has been serving as a volunteer for the program for several years. She has family and friends who did not have the opportunity to finish high school, and she wanted to do what she could to help complete their education.
“I came to this program to help them achieve their dreams,” she said. “This is a great event for people to be with family and opportunities to be with other people and have fun. I like to help other people get their diploma or have a chance to reach their potential.”
The Mary N. Campbell Resource Center is located at 2226 Karen St, Lake Wales, FL 33898. For more information, call 863-679-4335.