Martial arts school hosts first community event at pocket park in Clarks Summit


Youngsters get soaked at ‘superheroes’ party

By Joan Mead-Matsui - For Abington Journal



John Smith, of Serenity Martial Arts, held an end-of-the-summer party for his students at The Finish Shop Pocket Park in Clarks Summit. Outdoor activities included a balloon toss and other water fun.


Joan Mead-Matsui | For Abington Journal

Tyler Sacks at the Serenity Martial Arts end-of-the-summer superheroes party at The Finish Shop Pocket Park.


Joan Mead-Matsui | For Abington Journal

Brianne McCann, 5, enjoys hanging out with her friends at the party.


Joan Mead-Matsui | For Abington Journal

Preston Baker, 7, left, and Tyler Sacks, 7, are involved in a squirt gun battle.


Joan Mead-Matsui | For Abington Journal

John Smith soaks Preston Baker with a water balloon.


Joan Mead-Matsui | For Abington Journal

CLARKS SUMMIT — Some pint-sized superheroes recently got a kick out of the new pocket park.

John Smith of Serenity Martial Arts Studio recently held an end of summer party for his young students Aug. 22. The theme was “superheroes” and the setting was The Finish Shop Pocket Park on Depot Street.

The Saturday afternoon and evening party included pizza, a movie and karate class at the studio, followed by outdoor activities at the park.

“Today we’re doing this as an end of summer party. Water games – water, water, water… It’s called Superhero Night,” Smith, a fifth degree blackbelt, said.

The children who attended the party are Smith’s students and ranged in age from 4 to 7. Among the fun and games were bobbing for apples, balloon toss, “drip, drip, drop,” and a squirt gun battle.

Brianne McCann, 5, said the party is fun because, “I get to hang out with my friends.”

Smith is the first person to reserve the park that opened earlier this year, according to Virginia Kehoe, borough manager.

“That was the first one (request),” Kehoe said.

Sarah Dawgert, Clarks Summit, approached Clarks Summit borough council with her idea for a pocket park in a letter she drafted in January 2013. Dawgert saw a need for a mini-green space in the downtown area, where residents and visitors could relax with a cup of coffee, read a book, meet friends or host an event. The land was donated by the Maria Family and the multi-generational and multi-purpose park became a reality as result of a grant from the Lackawanna County Re-invest Program, private donations, and help from Mayor Patty Lawler, borough council and volunteers.

“I am thrilled that kids had such a great time at the park. I have seen people starting to hang out in the park in small groups or individually and people using the pocket library,” she said in an email following the party.

She said Smith’s party was one of the ways she envisioned how the community would use the pocket park.

“One of the ideas behind the park was that it could foster a sense of community,” saud Dawgert. “The more people are in the park, as part of an event or just on their own, the more community grows and the more people will feel a sense of pride in their community and the park.”

For more information regarding use of the pocket park, Kehoe said to call the borough office at 570-586-9316.

John Smith, of Serenity Martial Arts, held an end-of-the-summer party for his students at The Finish Shop Pocket Park in Clarks Summit. Outdoor activities included a balloon toss and other water fun.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Martial-Arts-1.jpgJohn Smith, of Serenity Martial Arts, held an end-of-the-summer party for his students at The Finish Shop Pocket Park in Clarks Summit. Outdoor activities included a balloon toss and other water fun. Joan Mead-Matsui | For Abington Journal

Tyler Sacks at the Serenity Martial Arts end-of-the-summer superheroes party at The Finish Shop Pocket Park.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_Martial-Arts-5.jpgTyler Sacks at the Serenity Martial Arts end-of-the-summer superheroes party at The Finish Shop Pocket Park. Joan Mead-Matsui | For Abington Journal

Brianne McCann, 5, enjoys hanging out with her friends at the party.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_martial-Arts-6.jpgBrianne McCann, 5, enjoys hanging out with her friends at the party. Joan Mead-Matsui | For Abington Journal

Preston Baker, 7, left, and Tyler Sacks, 7, are involved in a squirt gun battle.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_ABJ-Serenity-Martial-Arts-3.jpgPreston Baker, 7, left, and Tyler Sacks, 7, are involved in a squirt gun battle. Joan Mead-Matsui | For Abington Journal

John Smith soaks Preston Baker with a water balloon.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_ABJ-Serenity-Martial-Arts-4.jpgJohn Smith soaks Preston Baker with a water balloon. Joan Mead-Matsui | For Abington Journal
Youngsters get soaked at ‘superheroes’ party

By Joan Mead-Matsui

For Abington Journal

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.

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