Young Life fundraiser to include student testimonies

Sunday, January 27, 2013
High School students gather at a Young Life event at the Concourse Building in Cape Girardeau. The group meets there weekly. (Provided)

Southeast Missouri Young Life will roll out the red carpet this week as it hosts the organization's annual fundraiser. This year's event is called Backstage Pass and will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Concourse Building, 429 N. Broadview St. in Cape Girardeau.

According to Bill Reazer, Young Life area director, the fundraiser will be a time for "people, parents, teachers, churches, etc. to connect to what we are doing."

Testimonies will be given by students whose lives have been affected by the nondenominational Christian ministry. Reazer will present the five-year strategic plan for Young Life, which includes expanding to areas around Cape Girardeau. There will be a dessert banquet sponsored by My Daddy's Cheesecake.

Founded in 1941 by a Presbyterian youth leader and seminary student, Young Life originally was geared to young people who were not interested in church. It's vision statement: "Every adolescent will have the opportunity to meet Jesus Christ and follow Him."

Young Life is a way to introduce students to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith. By building authentic relationships with middle school, high school and college students, adults earn the right to be heard when it comes to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Young Life started in Cape Girardeau in 1983. Currently there are active clubs at Central High School and Central Junior High School.

Club is a weekly gathering that meets on Thursdays throughout the school year.

"At the club we have music, games, laughter and such to break down the walls in kids in order to tell them about Jesus Christ," Reazer said. "We have about 90 to 100 kids on Thursday nights, of which about 30 percent are Christians involved in Bible study and church. These kids have friends who don't attend church, and they are looking for a way to reach out to their friends. That is why these kids are active."

A large part of the organization is its summer camping program where students are accompanied by adult leaders.

Southeast Missouri Young Life has 15 adult leaders who volunteer to go to school and eat lunch with the kids and attend their programs and sporting events to build relationships.

Rika Friddrich, an adult leader, has been involved with Young Life since she was a sophomore in high school. At that time in her life she attended a Young Life camp where she "heard the Gospel presented in a way for a 16-year-old, not an adult." It was a way she could understand it.

Friddrich said, "The leaders made me feel welcome and showed interest in me. That's what hooked me from the start and why I have continued to be a leader. It's my calling."

Friddrich added that students say they like the organization because of the way it connects them with their peers -- some whom they may not know from school. It's an opportunity for them to "hangout together."

There is no cost for Thursday's event, but donations will be accepted. Those interested in attending may call Bill Reazer at 573-587-6116.

Pertinent address:

429 N. Broadview St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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