Puppets in the park

"I'm glad we're alive " that's how scary it was," said Schroeder.

SICM was able to reschedule the performers, and the children at the event seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. After the show finished, Schroeder brought out one of the puppets for children to pet and hug.

After the crowd of children all got their turn they still wanted more, so Schroeder removed the curtain from her stage and showed children how she performed. The group of children listened intently while sitting on the ground.

Recent shootings near the park has left some residents wary about visiting, but the puppet show provided a stark contrast to the violence.

"We want to restore confidence in people that it is safe to come out," Grigsby said.

From June 28 to Sept. 3, SICM is offering the lunch program to assist families struggling to get by during the rough economic times. There are a total of 14 lunch sites open to children throughout the city. Last year more than 37,700 lunches were served, and in the first two weeks of the program this year, 7,000 people have been fed, said Crystal Hamelink, SICM lunch program coordinator.""

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