Freeborn youth group raises funds for trip to Tennessee

Published 9:18 am Tuesday, June 17, 2008

After a busy weekend packed with lots of activities during Freeborn Days, the community was treated to a meal of sloppy joes, hot dogs, salads and ice cream sundaes by the youth group of the Congregational Church United Church of Christ, which was held following the 11 a.m. church service.

This fundraising dinner was one of several efforts being sponsored by the group in order to raise money to attend a special youth camp at the University of Tennessee from July 24 to 28. It has hosted garage sales, bake sales, a turkey biscuit dinner and has even done yard work to raise money to pay the $400 per person fee for this elite camp, which is only held once every four years.

Chaz Mithum and Jordan Johnson from Alden-Conger School and Samantha Seipp and Autumn Peterson from United South Central School are hoping to collect enough money for their registration and their adult chaperones, the Rev. Cherie Daniel and Tabetha Mithun.

Email newsletter signup

“The fundraising has been a lot of work,” said Sandy Johnson, Jordan’s mother. “We’ve been inching our way toward the $2,400 goal with hopes of reaching it soon. The kids are going to have fun at this camp, and there are hundreds of workshops they can choose to attend.”

Included in the workshop choices are leadership development classes, peer-counseling training, self-esteem sessions, Bible study groups, community-service-project training, recreation and sports events, twice-daily worship services and evening coffee houses encouraging campers to share their talents in poetry, song or musical instrument. There will be 3,000 to 4,000 youth in grades six through 12 attending this event from all over the United States, including several foreign countries.

Chaz Mithun said he is anxious to meet all the different people who will be attending this event and is even more anxious to actually see the football field at Tennessee.

“We’re very supportive of our youth group and their programs,” said church member Jan Beach. “This is a fantastic opportunity and we are proud of these children for choosing to do this. The youth group and their mentors, Tabetha Mithun, Sandy Johnson, Val Seipp and Joan Peterson have worked hard the last nine months on projects to raise the needed money and are grateful for the local businesses that have assisted them in fundraising.

“We’re very grateful for their donations, which have helped us to get that much further in our efforts,” said Tabetha Mithun. “We are extremely appreciative for the help of the smaller businesses in the area who are sometimes struggling themselves, but still care enough to help. They’ve been very generous to us.”

The group is still seeking donations for their bus trip, which will leave from Rochester and allow them a more comfortable ride on this 24-hour journey to Tennessee. This long ride will give them a chance to connect with the 100 other youth from Minnesota who will also be attending the weeklong program.

“This event will give our youth group a chance to be connected with the larger church,” Daniel said. “It is allowing them to spend a week with other Christians who choose to talk about God and what he has done for us.”

People who wish to make a donation for their efforts may contact Daniel at (507) 863-2148 or (507) 391-0722.