Youths make trek from Wisconsin to help out

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 2, 2006

By Adam Hammer, staff writer

About 80 members of the Alto Reform Church youth group from Wisconsin trekked 270 miles to Albert Lea on Tuesday to get their hands dirty helping Youth for Christ mark projects off their list.

&8220;We’re just very appreciative,&8221; Robin Gudal, coordinator for the Youth for Christ organization, said. &8220;These are teenagers spending their spring break working for us.&8221;

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The youth from Alto &045; a town of just over 1,000 people near Waupun, Wis. &045; worked odd jobs for Youth for Christ on Wednesday and Thursday including painting and working with grade school and teen ministries at The Rock and cutting down trees at Prairie River Camp near Bricelyn. They also knocked out a wall for Assembly of God Church.

&8220;We’re from a small town, but our youth group does real well,&8221; Miley TerBeest, a youth leader with Alto Reform Church, said.

About 40 members of the group were constructing miniature golf courses for the upcoming Golf-A-Thon.

Ten miniature courses were needed for the Golf-A-Thon and each one was sponsored by an area business or organization. Each sponsoring business paid for supplies for their courses, that were designed by the Alto youths.

The youths broke up into teams of four to take on the feat. One group was making their course look like a tractor for Erlandson Inc., a design that required some time to plan. Another group was designing as they went for the Prairie River Camp hole.

&8220;We’re just kind of going with the flow,&8221; Isaac Lemmenes, a youth working on the Prairie River Campground hole, said.

The courses had to be portable so they could be transported to Skyline Plaza where the Golf-A-Thon will take place April 7 and 8.

The Alto Reform youth group originally planned a trip to Florida, but were unable to go because of high gas prices and financial restrictions. Eager to do service work for somebody, they made a connection with the Albert Lea Youth for Christ, which had plenty of work that needed to be done.

Their goal was to help Youth for Christ mark things off their list to enable them to do their job as ministries better. In turn, the Alto Reform Church youth group was able to show what they’re all about, Gudal said.