ABC Benefit Event Celebrates Ministry’s Past and Present
Jul 25, 2018|Written By: Dylan Rosenthal
On June 23, nearly 200 Abundant Life friends and supporters attended our first ever Art of Building Community benefit dinner at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Showcasing artwork from Abundant Life students, the event began with music by the Chickenhead Blues Band and a catered dinner by Mission BBQ. The program included moving testimonials by former participants Rashard Davis (video) and Rashawnda Carey (below), introduction of the Sherman-Rogers Award for Building Community, and recognition of former Executive Director Rydell Payne. For many, the event also served as an introduction to our new Executive Director, Dr. Nathan Walton, who announced our recent purchase of 780 Prospect Avenue and reflected on where God is leading us as a ministry.
“I could talk about so many things: the programs, the events, the tutoring, the mentoring, but [above] all of those things, Abundant Life provided a safe haven and provided trust.”
In her speech, therapist and vlogger Rashawnda spoke about Abundant Life’s support of her throughout her teen years, highlighting the importance of relationships with caring adults. “There’s so many people who have put so much time and effort and I’m just truly thankful.” She continued, “Abundant Life encompasses different people from different walks of life from different time periods that come together and are helping others. I could talk about so many things: the programs, the events, the tutoring, the mentoring, but [above] all of those things, Abundant Life provided a safe haven and provided trust.”
Looking back on the evening, Nathan offered his gratitude to those who attended: “What was most encouraging was not only being reminded of God’s power to change lives, but the incredible partners and supporters like you, who continue to make our work possible. From one-time financial gifts, to almost 20 newly pledged monthly supporters, to multi-year annual pledges and fully underwritten expenses, the Art of Building Community Night led to commitments totaling $67,000. This support brings us one step closer to the financial and programmatic sustainability we need to thrive for the long haul. Praise God for the gift of partnership and the privilege it is to serve alongside all of you who support our work through donations, prayers, and volunteering.”