Youth groups from several Great Bend churches have combined efforts this year by forming Teen Workers Alliance. As many as 100 students in grades 7 through 12 attended its first major event, a "Fifth Quarter" gathering after a recent home basketball game.
The goal of Fifth Quarter was to create a safe place where kids can have fun, said Ashley Dowgwillo from Trinity Lutheran Church. For the first event, students met in the Assembly of God gym for of basketball, Wii games, foosball and air hockey. There was also live music by local a Christian rock band, Echelon.
The last 30 minutes of the event was a praise and worship session led by the Crosspoint Church praise team.
"It started with a few of us that realized there wasn’t a huge collective group of people doing things for the community," Dowgwillo said. Youth pastors wanted to create activities for all of the area youth, "whether they went to church or not."
Organizers of the YWA meet monthly. Meetings are open to any youth worker from any church, and any young person can join the alliance. Partners/sponsors from the community at large are also needed, Dowgwillo said, noting all of the food for Fifth Quarter was donated.
"We plan to have two more Fifth Quarters, on Feb. 4 and 18, after home games," Dowgwillo said.
Current YWA members include: Kelli and Justin Frazier of First Christian Church, Randy Mills of Crosspoint, Charles Badsen from First Assembly of God and Ashley Dowgwillo of Trinity Lutheran Church. For more information on the YWA, or to find out how to support their efforts, contact a member.