In spite of the overcast day, over 90 people from the Fenton churches showed up to walk today in the 2013 CROP Walk including 12 people from our church. This was Fenton’s 33rd annual walk for the Fenton, Lake Fenton, Linden and Holly area. Almost $300,000 has been raised over those years “ending hunger one step at a time”. One-fourth of the money raised this year will be used to support three local agencies: FISH (Food Pantry) in Linden, St. Jude’s School Lunch Program and Fenton UMC Food Bank.
A number of our members traveled to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint again this year to enjoy their 23rd Empty Bowls fund raiser on Thursday, September 26. A $20.00 donation to the Food Bank entitles a person to select a ceramic bowl created by one of the art classes in Flint; they can take this bowl home. Then they can sample from a variety of soups and breads donated by over 30 area restaurants. We enjoyed the food, fellowship and entertainment! This fundraiser occurs every September; watch for the event next year.
Fourteen volunteers from our church traveled to the North End Soup Kitchen in Flint on Saturday, September 28, to prepare and serve a lunch to people in crisis. Larry Zimbler again headed up our meal preparation by deciding on a menu, obtaining the food, and organizing our volunteers. We served beef tacos, refried beans, Spanish rice, fruit cocktail and two large sheet cakes to about 114 people. Everyone really liked the meal and we enjoyed their company.
We are happy to report that our Read & Feed program was a great success for our second year! We hosted 29 second and third grade readers from the Fenton elementary schools who had been identified as needing assistance with their reading. We hoped to “jump-start” their fall schooling by providing them with six mornings of reading experiences as well as food for breakfast and lunch. We used most of our church to have the students read to us or trained dogs, to have us read to them, to play word games, to sing songs and play games using music, to create various craft and science projects, and to have lots of fun! We used our new kitchen to serve them breakfast and lunch the days they were here. We sent food home for them and their siblings for the remainder of the two weeks. Volunteers created a book bag for each student; we used these bags each day and then sent them home with several books that were contributed by the congregation.
We want to thank the nearly 70 volunteers from our church and St. Jude’s who made this outreach possible. We want to thank the congregation for their support of our mission budget that enables this type of outreach. We want to thank Jet’s Pizza and Uncle Ray’s Dairyland for contributing the food for our final lunch; it was a huge hit with the students!
On Thursday, August 1, we hosted a picnic at Silver Lake Park Beach in Fenton for the Whaley Children’s Center. We were pleased that 40 youth and 12 staff attended from Whaley. They had a great time and were very appreciative; they look forward to this picnic each year. We would like to thank the congregation for their support of our mission budget that enables this type of outreach. We would also like to thank the many members who contributed food and hosted the picnic. We also thank Jet’s Pizza for contributing 16 pizzas again this year.
On Saturday, July 13, our church supported the Bastille Day Race in downtown Fenton. Each year, this race has generated over $18,000 for Genesee County Habitat for Humanity and brought thousands of visitors into Fenton. This year they were hoping to have a record 1500 runners/walkers! The 15k race began at 7:45 am while the 5k walk/run began at 8:00 am. Food and entertainment were available at the gazebo where the race results were also posted.
Our church supplied eleven volunteers who assisted with traffic control at 8 neighborhood corners. Thank you to the volunteers for assisting in this worthwhile cause! Everyone had a great time!
This Sunday the 14th, is the start of passing out the outfits for the back to school project. The cards will also be available on the 21st and 28th. The deadline to bring back these outfits will be August 11th so they can be distributed for the upcoming school year. Donations of any size are appreciated, thank you for your contribution.
Every summer our church provides a picnic at Silver Lake Park for the children and staff of the Whaley Children’s Center. Please come and enjoy the day with us at Pavilion #2 from 4-6 pm on Thursday, August 1st. Pizza will be donated, but we also need paper products, water, pop, cookies, watermelon slices and chips. If you are interested in helping with these items, please sign your name with email address and what you would like to donate on the sign up sheet in fellowship hall. If you have any questions, please contact Sherry Hunt.
Our team, Presbyterians with a Purpose, had another great year raising money to find cures for cancer and raising awareness. We raised $7635.00 so far with a couple more fund raisers yet to take place. Our team came in second of the 25 teams participating in 2013. A new long-term study, Cancer Prevention Study 3, is beginning with 137 participants signing up at the event. So far, the Fenton Relay for Life has raised $50,586 this year.
Our first Red Cross blood drive for 2013 went very well on June 1. We had 51 pints donated including 3 double red donations and 7 first time donors! The last two blood drives have been very successful so we will increase our goal and add staffing to make the process quicker. Many thanks to the blood donors as well as the volunteers who helped make this success possible! Giving blood saves lives and benefits so many people.