Churches to hold rally Aug. 6

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 31, 2004

Churches throughout Butler County are teaming together to help its youth have a positive force behind them as they head back to school.

The Butler County Youth Council, which is made up of youth from every denomination, will host the second annual Back-to-School Youth Explosion from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Aug. 6 at the Hank Williams Park in Georgiana.

&uot;We want an opportunity to tell the children that we’re pulling for them as they go back to school and that we’re behind them,&uot; event organizer Rev. Allen Stephenson said. &uot;We wanted to get them together and give them a good positive message. We’ll have different people from all walks of life that will be speaking and giving them encouragement. We’ll also have some great entertainment as well.&uot;

Football players, cheerleaders and the coaching staffs from Greenville and Georgiana high schools and McKenzie School will be on hand during the event. Stephenson said the response from the area’s high school coaches has been great.

&uot;They’ve been very positive,&uot; Stephenson said. &uot;They’re always looking for something that would be a positive message that would help get the children motivated and we personally want to do that.&uot;

Last year, more than 300 students attended the Youth Explosion, which was held indoors.

&uot;Last year’s event was terrific,&uot; Stephenson said. &uot;We had a lot of children make decisions. A lot of them were strengthened to go back to school and stand strong. We are a character-building group. We want to strengthen children to do the right things. All this is geared toward that.&uot;

Stephenson anticipates at least 500 students this year and said they can house many more.

&uot;We moved it to an outdoor venue so we can accommodate all the children,&uot; he said.

Soloist, singing groups, and interpreted dancing will entertain the crowd. There will also be demonstrations of feats of strength.

Stephenson said everyone is invited to join in the fun. Admission, food and refreshments are free. Last year the group cooked about 1,000 hotdogs.

&uot;I guarantee everyone will enjoy it,&uot; Stephenson said.