Teen Challenge to hold fundraising banquet

Published 7:52 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2016

By Blake Deshazo | The Selma Times-Journal

Teen Challenge in Selma will hold its biggest fundraiser of the year later this month by showing the community the affect the 12-month program has on the young men enrolled in it.

The program is hosting its annual banquet Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center.

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“The annual banquet is really our biggest fundraiser each year for the center,” said Ken Schroeder, pastoral counselor and intake coordinator for the program. “It’s an opportunity for us to get the word out in the community about Teen Challenge.”

Teen Challenge is a 12-month Christian discipleship program that helps men 18 years and older learn how overcome addiction.

“The difference is night and day from the time that they come into the program from the time that they leave,” Schroeder said. “Many of them come in here almost skeletons and leave healthy and strong and feeling better than they’ve felt in many, many years. It’s just a great thing to be able to witness the transformation in every way and seeing the families being restored.”

Schroeder said the banquet helps raise money for operating expenses, but it also helps people with addictions enter the program.

“It also provides scholarships for those applicants who possibly can’t afford the entrance fee or can’t afford to make monthly donations to the program,” Schroeder said.

Teen Challenge is selling tables that seat seven for $325, individual tickets for $50 and tickets for $25 that do not include the meal.

The program will feature a guest speaker, but most of the focus will be on the young men in the program and their testimonies.

“Current students will share their experience in Teen Challenge and what God has done in their lives during the program,” Schroeder said.

“We’re going to have one of our students graduating from the program that night. He’ll be presented with his certificate and will share his testimony about what God has done in his life.”

Schroeder said the banquet not only makes a difference by supporting the program, but it also makes a difference in the people that attend it.

“This is how I kind of got involved with Teen Challenge. I started volunteering out here, and the first day that I volunteered was the banquet in 2009. I was sold then,” Schroeder said. “The impact of the banquet left me with a lump in my throat after hearing their testimonies and songs.”

Anyone interested in purchasing or sponsoring a table or buying tickets can call the center at 872-0133.