Bear River Young Life fundraiser sees large crowd |

Bear River Young Life fundraiser sees large crowd

Bear River Young Life member and Moffat County High School sophomore Tonie Valentine looks down as musician Jonah Werner performs during the organization's annual fundraiser.
Darian Warden

— Kids in retro outfits navigated their way through the narrow spaces between tables in Colorado Northwestern Community College on Sunday night as they served tea and coffee to those attending the Bear River Young Life annual Fundraiser.

More than 200 attended the event, which included a silent auction for goods and skills.

Free to attend, area director David Pressgrove told those who attended that he would rather have them be like teammates working together for the kids. So, instead of pay for the event, guests were asked to consider a one-time or monthly contribution to the group.

Based on projected needs, Pressgrove said the group goal was to raise $36,722 throughout the year to cover expenses for this year.

During the event, Young Life members and their middle school counterpart, Wyldlife, spoke to the audience. The event brought the community together to “remember when,” with the current members and alumni of Young Life.

Students also shared their memories of Young Life and how being a part of the group had bettered their lives.

Serving appetizers and desserts, musician Jonah Werner entertained the crowd with music and jokes as he shared his story of Young Life working in his life.

Love and acceptance were a common theme found in nearly all current and past students’ stories.

Through a Web cam, Young Life alumni Troy DeRose said the relationships that came from being part of the group had the biggest impact on his life.

Justin Kawcak also spoke about the faith and friendships he has gained from being part of Young Life, also speaking through a Web cam.

Others told about how they felt like someone was listening for the first time.

“I could tell the leaders cared about us and wanted to listen to what we had to say,” Hayden graduate Logan Foster said through the Web cam. “They showed me the love Jesus Christ has to offer.”

Darian Warden can be reached at 970-875-1793 or

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