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Gathering Place shows off for adults
St. Simons Island residents Mark and Carol Davis have been involved with organizations that help children for years.

So when the married couple were invited to the "Annual Main Event For Adults," a fundraiser for The Gathering Place, a Christian student leadership organization, they agreed to attend without hesitation.

"Well, we are just so interested in young people," said Carol Davis. "It's important that we look out for our young folks, and I think that they need to grow in a Christian way, and I think (The Gathering Place does) it so we decided to come."

Mark and Carol Davis were just two of hundreds of people packed into the Atlantic Ballroom at the Jekyll Island Convention Center Thursday to show their support of The Gathering Place and all it does.

Lucas Ramirez, executive director of The Gathering Place, couldn't have been more pleased with the turnout. The annual fundraising is a big reason why the Christian ministry is able to minister to almost 12,000 students a year, he said.

"Our hope tonight is to raise $100,000," said Ramirez.

The best way to achieve that goal is to highlight to the community what has been happening within the organization over the past year. The event features students and parents who get on stage and deliver a testimonial about how The Gathering Place affected their lives for the better.

"Our biggest goal is to celebrate what God is doing with The Gathering Place and showcase that in front of the community," said Ramirez. "In doing that we hope to generate partners."

Mawi Asgedom, the keynote speaker, decided to partner with the ministry to share his story about how his faith helped him go from a young Ethiopian refugee to a Harvard University graduate in 1999.

With the help of World Relief, Asgedom, 37, migrated to the states with his family at the age of 7.

World Relief is a nonprofit humanitarian aid organization.

"I just started going to school, learned English and went through a lot of challenges," said Asgedom. "I didn't start getting into my faith until high school, and that gave me the confidence to do a lot of the other things I've done since then."

Asgedom's vision since then has been to help students and show that things can be achieved with faith, learning and work.

* Reporter Martin Rand III covers local news. Contact him at mrand@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook, or at 265-8320, ext. 324.



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