Juneteenth Jam to take place on Saturday

Linn Ann Huntington
Special to Hays Daily News

“Juneteenth Jam: An Educational Event” will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at Hays Municipal Park.

Various speakers and performers will discuss the significance of Juneteenth, which commemorates the end to slavery in the United States; the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre at Black Wall Street; personal experiences of a Black person in the United States and Kansas; and more.  

Speakers will include Angela Bates of Nicodemus, the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the Reconstruction period; Fort Hays State University History Professor Daniel McClure; a dance group from Russell; and members of FHSU’s Black Student Union.

Lorenzo’s BBQ of Larned will have food available for purchase, and the Hays Public Library Bookmobile will be on site.

Participants are encouraged to bring a chair and to wear a mask if not fully vaccinated. 

According to history.com, Juneteenth, short for June 19, marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed.  The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln. 

More information about the second annual Juneteenth event in Hays is available on Facebook at https://facebook.com/events/3388015134635218.

Hays Methodist Church announces new pastor

Hays First United Methodist Church, 305 W. Seventh, is getting a new pastor. The Rev. Craig Hauschild, will assume those duties on July 1.

Hauschild (pronounced House-shield) grew up in Hutchinson and attended school in Haven. He attended Kansas Weslyan before going on to seminary at Duke University.

He has served United Methodist churches in Plainville, Derby, Andover, Wichita and Salina.  He and his wife, Dayna have two adult children and four grandchildren.

First Call for Help invites public to view housing project

First Call for Help invites the public to get a “sneak peek” at the First Step Housing Project being built at its facility, 607 E. 13th.

Linda Mills, First Call’s executive director, said the agency is participating in the Hays Chamber of Commerce’s 2nd Quarter Showcase through Monday, June 21.  

“Stop by during business hours for your passport stamp and visit with the staff to get a sneak peek of First Step Housing,” she said, adding that the building project is now at the sheetrock stage.

Hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

First Step will provide temporary housing to individuals living in Ellis County who are struggling with homelessness and who are committed to overcoming obstacles to secure housing in the future, according to the organization’s website.

Construction is ongoing to create four bedrooms with a private bathroom in each. The project will offer temporary housing for eight to 12 individuals or families for up to six months.

Mills said there is still time for individuals to make a donation to the project and have their funds matched by the Schmidt Foundation. “The campaign goal is $50,000 and we are close; $11,000 remains to be raised by June 30.”

Mills said if no parking is available on the east side of the building, visitors may park across the street or on the side street.

Donations to the First Step Housing Project may be mailed to the above address. More information is available at (785) 623-2800.