Uplifting Westport is the youth and children’s serving component of Pilgrim Center, Inc. Pilgrim Center was created in 2003 through the merger of the former Westport Allen Community Center with another midtown organization, Pilgrim Chapel.
Recognizing that there is a shortage of activities for children and youth in the midtown area, the Pilgrim Center Board of Directors established Uplifting Westport as a catalyst for developing safe, wholesome activities for youngsters living in urban neighborhoods.
A special priority is the creation of events that allow parents to share in activities with their children.
Such programs include the annual Hyde Park Children’s Film Festival held in Hyde Park each Friday evening in July and the Hyde Park Easter Frolic and Egg Hunt.
The children’s festival offers each night a concert featuring local musicians like Danny Cox; an educational event like the making of wild hats out of grocery sacks for all in attendance; and a recently released movie such as this year’s Rango. In addition, free refreshments including snow cones and popcorn, are provided for the 150 to 200 children who show up on each of the four evenings.
The Easter Frolic and Egg Hunt attracts over 600 children and their parents to what began many years ago as a simple egg hunt. Now the event includes a variety of craft activities, pony rides and on one occasion, what was billed as the “World’s Largest Bunny Hop” that included hundreds of midtown children.
All of these activities help to create a sense of community for kids as well as an awareness of midtown neighborhood as family friendly places to live.
They are made possible by volunteer help from Hyde Park neighbors and by donations from area businesses and foundations. Proceeds from the Pilgrim Run will allow us to continue these programs as well as to add, in the future, a planned “Arts In the Park” day neighborhood children and youth.
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