Fasting youths' growling stomachs teach a lesson in sacrifice, service


WHILE THEIR friends celebrated the start of Easter weekend, 20 teens from Galilee Lutheran Church's youth group began a 30-hour fast to raise money for World Vision.

The young people, in grades six through 12, raised more than $2,000 for a program providing medical care in Third World countries and poverty-stricken areas of the United States.

Denise Colebrook, youth group leader, said that when the idea of participating in the charity's nationwide fund-raising effort came to her attention, she was a little hesitant to suggest fasting.

"We have so much, while others have so little that we take things for granted." she said.

The idea was heartily approved by the teens and their parents.

"I wondered, though, just how long we could make it without eating food, although water and fruit juice was allowed," Colebrook added.

The teens and their adult advisers, Greg Colebrook, Anne Spinnenweber and Dave Eden, assembled at Galilee at noon last Friday to begin the fast.

Lots of activities were planned to help the youths learn more about hunger around the world -- and to keep their minds off growling tummies.

The group spent the night at the church. "With a room full of teen-agers, we didn't get much sleep," Colebrook said.

At 5 a.m. Saturday, the groggy group traveled to Christ Lutheran Church's women's shelter, near Baltimore's Inner Harbor, to help prepare and serve breakfast for more than 40 women and children. After the meal, they washed walls, scrubbed bathrooms and played with young children living at the shelter.

With a few hours remaining in the fast, the group traveled to Fells Point to help sort clothes at Lutheran Mission Society's thrift store and help clean it.

"Keeping busy helped them focus on helping others," Colebrook said.

The fast ended at 6 p.m. Saturday with a potluck meal, for which the teens' parents were hosts.

When questioned about their hunger experience, most of the youths said they would think twice whenever they say, "I'm starving," Colebrook said.

Eighth-grader Nicole Troyer said that working in the women's shelter was a difficult experience. "The hardest thing was having to see the kids in the shelter who were there, even though they hadn't done anything themselves," Nicole said.

"It made me feel good that I helped a lot of people," said sixth-grader Amanda Spinnenweber.

"I'll recognize the problems of others rather than complaining about my small problems," said D.J. Eden, also in sixth grade.

"We raised money for a great cause, and learned about poverty here at home," Colebrook said.

The youth group meets every other Sunday evening at church for Bible study, games and food. Galilee is at 4652 Mountain Road. Information: 410-255-8236.

Downs Park fair

Entry fees at Downs Park will be waived from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow -- the hours of its annual spring craft fair.

Booths and tables will have hand-crafted items for sale, and the park concession stand will sell food and beverages.

Proceeds will benefit the Friends of Downs Park volunteer group. The park is on the Chesapeake Bay, near the eastern end of Mountain Road. Information: 410-222-6230.

PBA luncheon

Pasadena Business Association will have its annual legislative luncheon at noon Wednesday at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.

Invited guests are County Executive Janet S. Owens, Pasadena's Councilwoman Shirley Murphy, and its legislative delegation of state Sen. Philip C. Jimeno and Dels. Joan Cadden, Mary M. Rosso and John R. Leopold, the lone Republican among them.

They will provide an overview of the recently concluded legislative session.

The cost is $10 with reservations by today, or $15 at the door.

The group is also sponsoring a business exchange breakfast from 7: 45 a.m. to 9: 45 a.m. May 10 at Kaufman's Restaurant in Gambrills. The cost is $12 in advance, with a reservation deadline of May 5, or $17 at the door.

Reservations for either event: 410-987-4887.

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