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Monroe City Volunteer Firefighter, Lieutenant Brandon Goodwin, enjoys the water fight with local children during the first Emergency Services Back to School Bash on Aug. 6.

The Monroe City Emergency Services Back to School Bash was held on August 6 from 5-8 p.m. at the St. Jude’s Park. The park was filled with children of all ages ready to participate in the water activities planned for the evening. Chief Tyler Wheeler stated, “I feel the event was a success. The kiddos loved it.”

On arrival, parents were seen receiving a bag filled with school supplies for students in grades pre-k through eighth. The Monroe City Community Task Force donated enough school supplies for 180 students for the 2019-20 school year. Teachers in attendance, were given boxes of Kleenex and Clorox wipes for their classrooms. The task force also raffled off a school supply cake, crafted by Alderman and member Melissa Hays.

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The teachers winning the cakes made out of markers, glue, crayons, scissors and several other school supply items were Ashley Yager and Judy Stone of the Monroe City R-1 School District. Hays stated, “We served well over 100 students with school supplies. The remainder of the supplies were divided between MCR-1 and Holy Rosary to stock their supply cabinets. We are excited to make next year bigger and better.”

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The Monroe City Fire Department supplied a giant slip-n-slide and a barrel ride, driven by Pastor Olivia Earlywine. Children were seen sliding all different directions, while firefighters sprayed a giant water hose on the children. Others were equally excited to take a ride in the train of barrels.

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Mayor John Long took part in the evening’s festivities bringing a large super soaker water gun to take part in the community event. Mayor Long was a target of several students as they chased him through the park soaking him with their water guns.

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Later in the evening, the Monroe City Police Department had a water gun war with the youngsters playing kids vs. cops water fight. Chief Tyler Wheeler commented on the evenings event stating, “I believe the water war was the best part.  The fire departments dump tank was like a magnet for the kids.  We have plans to make the slip n slide bigger next year.” One small child stated, “I’m not going to shoot a cop, I could get arrested,” as adults laughed. After a little reassurance, he was ready to start in on the evenings fun.

Alderman and organizer of the event, Connie Painter, stated, “The highlight of the event was the water gun fight with the officers, I feel our first Back to School Bash was a success with the kids and community,” adding, “The next event is in the making, Trunk or Treat. Thanks to all who helped make this happen, without the support of our community events like this would not happen.”

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Also available throughout the night were free hot dogs and water for the children, donated by C&R Market and Orschlens and cooked by Chef D from Lickens BBQ. Adults could take advantage of grabbing dinner as well from Licken’s BBQ offering several smoked meat options and nachos, along with drinks.

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The community can look forward to enjoying this event annually, Chief Wheeler explained, “We have plans to make the slip-n-slide bigger and will be adding more events next year. We will be looking for more volunteers.” Alderman Painter shared, “MC Emergency Services are looking forward to next year, bigger and better. This event will always be the first Tuesday in August so mark your calendars for the summer of 2020.”

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