Lakewood Congregational Youth And Pastor To Take Plunge For Summer Mission Trip At Aug. 28 Fundraiser

LCC Youth Fellowship members Paula Atfield, Maggie Kemp and Cate Schleckman on location in Pittsburgh.

Members of the Lakewood Congregational Church (LCC) Youth Fellowship want you to take the immortal words of Pat Benatar to heart and hit them with your best shot… and knock them straight into Around the Corner’s dunk tank. They’re doing it for a cause that’s near and dear to them: service work in the world around them.

These ambitious mid-high and high school students, along with the church’s fearless pastor, Rev. Mark Thomas, will take turns in the dunk tank on Around the Corner’s patio, 18681 Detroit Ave., for a Youth Mission Trip Fund fundraiser on Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is open to the public.

For $1 a shot, you can sink Rev. Thomas, who will kick off the dunking at 6:10 p.m., and the teens, while helping them raise money to support their summer 2014 mission trip. The group is tentatively planning a journey next summer to Heifer International’s Heifer Farm in Rutland, Mass., about 62 miles west of Boston.

The church has a longstanding reputation for youth mission work, both locally through such events as its annual January Homeless Awareness Sleep Out, and also across the country. In years past, teams of LCC Youth have done service projects in such places as Lotts Creek, Ky.; Chicago, and most recently, Pittsburgh.

In June, seven LCC teens and two parent chaperones participated in the Pittsburgh Project. The Pittsburgh Project, a nonprofit community development organization, offers, among other programs, summer service camps for youth groups to visit the city for a week and perform free home repairs for Pittsburgh’s elderly homeowners.

LCC Youth Fellowship member David Kemp, a senior at Lakewood High School, has been on four mission trips with the church.

“The trips were all different and it makes me realize how many people need help no matter where they live,” Kemp says. “The trip to Pittsburgh this year was an exciting experience where they had us working hard, but where we also had fun.  We were able to build relationships with the homeowners while renovating their houses.”

Paula Atfield, another LCC Youth Fellowship member who traveled to Pittsburgh, says the reactions from the homeowners the group helped during their service week truly made an impact on her.

“The best part of the trip was homeowner night,” says Atfield, an LHS sophomore. “This was when all the homeowners from all the different houses we fixed came back to our camp for dinner and a worship service. It was priceless to see how much everyone appreciated our work, and to see all the people we helped.”

LCC youth volunteering to take a seat in the dunk tank include Atfield, LHS junior Ryan Mitchell, LHS sophomore Cate Schleckman, LHS freshman Evan Suttell, Harding Middle School eighth grader Lindy Warren and West Park Community Middle School seventh grader School Abby Swatsky.

The event also will feature a 50/50 and gift basket raffles. Funds from these raffles will also benefit the LCC Youth Mission Trip Fund.

“I enjoy our trips because they are fun,” Kemp says of his different LCC mission trip experiences. “I get to help people, and in the process, I have learned about myself, too.”

For more information on the LCC Youth Mission Trip program or any other programs or worship services at Lakewood Congregational Church, please contact the church office at 216.221.9555,

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Volume 9, Issue 17, Posted 11:29 AM, 08.21.2013