It’s a simple recipe for fun on a summer Saturday: carnival games and prizes for the kids, and good food and conversation for everyone. For the fourth year, HOPE Center hosted a neighborhood celebration with all the camaraderie of a traditional block party, plus added enticements that included pony rides, facepainting, good-natured “gladiator jousting” and the ever-popular bouncy house.

The little "jouster" says: "I got this."

The little “jouster” says: “I got this.”

On the afternoon of July 18, supporters new and old gathered at 3400 Elizabeth St. in Denver to celebrate and raise funds for the educational and developmental programs and services of HOPE Center. There was no official speakers’ program or agenda at this event—just fun-focused, nonstop games and activities, with festive food that ranged from grilled burgers and ’dogs to cotton candy and snow cones. Kids tried their hand at games and contests, winning points that resulted in prizes. A handful of organizations and vendors were onsite as well, with information on useful goods and services.

Presley thoroughly enjoyed her pony ride.

Presley thoroughly enjoyed her pony ride.

HOPE Center was founded in 1962 with an enrollment of six children and a staff of two teachers in a building at East Montview Boulevard and Syracuse Street. Growth was rapid and the Center subsequently occupied quarters at other locations in Denver, and became a non-profit corporation in 1965. HOPE Center has achieved a distinguished record of helping special-needs children and adults advance intellectually, vocationally, emotionally and socially to become contributing members in their families and productive members of their community. With a current average daily enrollment of over 200 children and 35 adults, and an average staff of 30, HOPE Center is one of the largest community-based organizations in the Denver area. For more information, please visit: