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‘They are worthy’: Harford County ministry holds Royal Ball to boost teens dispirited by the isolation of COVID

April Cheatham had been searching for a way to help the older kids in the Extreme Family Outreach Ministries’ Youth Leadership program feel loved and show the team’s appreciation for them.

After bouncing a few ideas off of friends and others around the office, the idea for a Royal Ball was hatched. That event took place last Thursday at Rockfield Manor.

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“We are all children of God and whether we know it or not, we are the sons and daughters of royalty. For one night these youth will be pampered, and reminded that they are worthy,” said Cheatham, the ministry’s One by One Child Partnership leader, in an email.

The children in the Youth Leadership program are between the ages of 12-18 from various areas of Harford County.

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“Every week our youth leadership team expressed how much they felt unloved, worthless and alone during this pandemic with being in isolation on our weekly zoom meetings,” Cheatham added.

The Royal Ball evening included a lot of dancing and hugging.

“As I look at each and every one of you, I want you to know how proud I am of you all. You are truly loved, this night is for you! Not only let your light shine tonight but let it shine, let it shine the rest of your life,” said Marlyn Gambrill, Executive Director of Extreme Family Outreach Ministries.

Each of the young people from the program were given a special award certificate recognizing each of them and their unique talents.

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Many local businesses stepped up to help make the night special with some like Reverly Hair Studio in Bel Air, Black-Eyed Suzie’s, Flavor Cupcakery, Fortunato Brothers, Sanctuary Title to name a few all provided food, money or other services for the event. Rockfield Manor provided the location free of charge and dresses and suites were donated by Tabitha’s House, Kia’s Korner and Old Navy in Abingdon. Prizes were also donated by Rosedale Federal, APGFCU and the Harford Realtors Association.

“It really was a community effort to pull this off,” Cheatham said.

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