The delightful aroma of barbecued tri-tip, along with the bluegrass harmony of Bluer Than Blue, welcomed the 140 guests as they arrived at the Summit group home in Morgan Hill for the 22nd Annual Advent Group Ministries Barbecue.
Guests had come on Saturday, September 27, to enjoy great food and fellowship, tour the Summit group home, and hear inspiring stories from the kids and families that Advent serves.
Following tours of the home and perusing ministry displays, it was time to grab a plate and fill it with superb barbecued tri-tip and sausage, potato salad, fruit salad, baked beans and garlic bread. The magnificent meal was Advent’s sincere thank you to our current friends and supporters, as well as to welcome new friends.
After dinner the excitement mounted as door prizes were called and fabulous gifts were awarded to the lucky winners. Prizes included backpacks, Starbucks gift cards, See’s candy, and a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory.
Board Chairman Jeff Davis gave a warm welcome to all, followed by the presentation of the Volunteer of the Year award by Tammy Greer, director of The Refuge.
“For five years Janet Howaniec has been consistent and constant,” says Tammy. “This dedicated volunteer goes to the Summit home and plays games, goes on hikes, and is just there for the girls,” she adds.
Janet, who loves being with the kids and knows that teens need an adult in their lives, beams, “Spending time with the girls will make you want to give them everything you can.”
A graceful praise dance was performed by Deahna Davis, as Carol Fryer sang of the grace and mercy of God. Judy Alexander then shared her poem about serving those who are lost and hurt.
The audience was then captivated by several clients’ stories . . .
Chris shared that he did not start off on good terms when he came to Advent on July 21, 2014, but he now has respectful peers who have become good buddies. “The brotherhood that I have at Advent is not found out on the streets,” he affirms. “I have also been blessed to have a sponsor who has ‘been there … done that’ and is able to give me wise counsel and guidance. My time at Advent has been exceptional!”
Raymond is a Step Up! graduate who came to Advent and reports, “Most of my family members had given up on me. But at Advent I began to understand what alcohol does to my brain and my life and I began to change. I graduated from high school and I’m now employed and going to school.” Exuberant applause followed as the guests cheered him on!
Chaunessey, a mom at The Refuge, shared how she had been struggling to get clean and sober so she could get her daughter back. She says, “I needed a place to live and heard about The Refuge —a peaceful, loving and caring home that provided me with a foundation. And Tammy keeps us all in check!”
Daniel Mahan, interim CEO, wrapped up the event by thanking the staff, donors and friends, and sharing that during the last year Advent has provided:
• 5,000 days of treatment and loving care for kids who desperately need it
• 10,000 hours of outpatient program counseling
• 1,000 appointments at the counseling center
• 5,000 volunteer hours
Many thanks go to our barbecue chefs—Steve and Susan Silveira, Patrick McKenzie, Jesse Rodriguez, Alex Valdez, Tony Herz, Joe Green and Gary George—from Gilroy Presbyterian Church.
Daniel concludes, “We are currently working with kids at a much younger age, and I hope you heard the difference you are making in the lives of our clients as we provide hope and healing in Christ’s love. You keep our doors open!”
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