Craig Middle School student Janae Glover, left, participates in a game at WyldLyfe on Tuesday evening as Tane Otis, far right, looks on. Bear River Young Life is hosting it's annual fundraising gala at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Colorado Northwestern Community College.

Photo by Darian Warden

Craig Middle School student Janae Glover, left, participates in a game at WyldLyfe on Tuesday evening as Tane Otis, far right, looks on. Bear River Young Life is hosting it's annual fundraising gala at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Colorado Northwestern Community College.

Bear River Young Life fundraising gala set for Sunday

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What: Annual Bear River Young Life Fundraising Gala

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Colorado Northwest Community College’s new campus, main building

Cost: Free

Contact: Call Caroline Dotson at 970-620-0659 for more information. Free child care is available at the Journey at First Baptist Church. There will be appetizers, desserts and musician Jonah Werner. RSVP if you plan to attend via email to bryl.banquet@gmai...

— The Craig Young Life building was packed with middle school students yelling, laughing and throwing pancakes Tuesday night.

As area director for Bear River Young Life David Pressgrove prepared to share announcements with students, Tane Otis, an eighth-grader at Craig Middle School, helped quiet down the large group and shushed some of the younger kids.

Otis has been involved since she was in sixth grade and has taken on a leadership role in the group, inviting as many of her friends as she can every Tuesday night. Otis also is the disc jockey for the group.

“It’s rare to have a middle school kid that involved,” Pressgrove said.

Although it can get hectic, the craziness in the room is a healthy and safe activity for kids in the community, which is why Otis invites as many friends as she can each week.

“I tell my friends they should come because it’s really fun and at the end they get to learn about this dude named Jesus,” Otis said.

To keep the group viable and provide activities for kids such as Otis, Bear River Young Life is hosting its annual fundraising gala on Sunday.

Pressgrove said the event usually averages 150 attendees, but this year’s goal is to have 100 new guests.

One of three major fundraisers the group puts on, the annual car show and golf tournament use a majority of funds raised to send kids to summer camp. Pressgrove said the dinner is more of an event to get people on board and strengthen community relations. Kids in Young Life have an opportunity to raise funds for camp at the dinner by auctioning off skills or services such as baby-sitting or dog walking.

This is the first year the event has been held at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Craig. Although a little unconventional, Pressgrove said they’re getting creative with the space.

“The college has been very helpful and accommodating,” Pressgrove said. “We’re excited about having the banquet there.”

Unconventional fits with the goal of the evening, which is to be different than most banquets.

“We don’t want it to be too heavy,” Pressgrove said. “We want it to be quick and social and just let people know what Young Life is and how God has been using it in Hayden and Craig.”

The evening will feature entertainment from musician Jonah Werner.

“He uses his music to tell the story of Young Life,” Pressgrove said.

Pressgrove said he found the summer camp experience and the consistency of caring adults and activities Young Life provided were some of the most important things to current Young Life members and alumni.

Pressgrove said community support creates longevity and consistency for youth involved with Young Life.

“My goal is for me to become dispensable,” Pressgrove said. “The more the community comes alongside what we do the more that becomes the case.”

Darian Warden can be reached at 970-875-1793 or dwarden@craigdailypress.com.

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