The fall themed fundraising banquet was held at the Cairo Womans Club beginning at 6:45 p.m., and nearly 100 people were on hand to learn more about how Young Life is reaching Grady County’s youth.
Local Young Life committee member Paul Blough welcomed the crowd and Michael Brown, youth pastor of Gordon Heights Baptist Church, provided a blessing before dinner was served.
Pouring the tea and water and serving the chicken and salad were 35 Cairo High School students, some of the many regular participants in Young Life activities. Since its inception in Grady County in 2011, the local ministry has seen more than 200 kids involved in some way. Currently, Young Life ministers to nearly 70 CHS students each month.
Grady County’s Young Life Staff Associate, Will Childs, took to the podium to thank everyone for coming, but he was interrupted by a pair of wrinkled, “old” men with suspiciously youthful movements who provided a comedic interlude. They gave the adult audience a taste of the fun that the local youth enjoy weekly during Young Life club meetings.
Three “volunteers” called to the front to participate in a streamer pulling contest were Janet Walden, Eric Cohen and Charlie Ferenchick. The first to pull two rolls of streamers apart was declared the winner, and Mr. Ferenchick was the prize winner of that race.
Finally, Rich Crawford, development director of the southeast region for Young Life and keynote speaker for the evening, selected from the audience another “volunteer,” Jill Long. Mrs. Long assisted Crawford in “magic” demonstrations on stage before giving his testimony about Young Life and presenting a video about the organization.
Other participants in the evening included supporter Travis Bryant and Banquet Committee Chair Raina Cauley.
Will Childs says the evening was successful in that it raised $13,185, a portion of the money needed for the year, which operates on a fiscal calendar of October to September.
Anyone wishing to learn more about Young Life in Grady County may visit gradycounty.younglife.org or may contact Will Childs by phone at (229) 220-1210 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ministry is made up of volunteer leaders who show up and build relationships with kids. They build trust and earn the right to be heard. Young Life does this through contact work, showing up where kids gather. They also have weekly clubs that are full of fun music, humor, and a short message.
The local Young Life Committee is led by Mike Thornton. Other members of the Committee are Debbie Abbott, Paul Blough, Raina Cauley, Jami Porter, Joe Porter and Gerry Swan.