Lifestyle

Reaching out to local teens — Youth Dynamics schedules annual fundraiser for Feb. 5

Ruslan Bizayaev, Alex Howard and Louis Mellecker enjoy an outdoor ski adventure at Stonewater Ranch in Leavenworth thanks to Youth Dynamics. - Courtesy photo
Ruslan Bizayaev, Alex Howard and Louis Mellecker enjoy an outdoor ski adventure at Stonewater Ranch in Leavenworth thanks to Youth Dynamics.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

ARLINGTON — Mark Moder, the new president of the Youth Dynamics organization, will be the featured speaker at a fundraiser that starts at 7 p.m., Feb. 5, at Haller Middle School, according to Stuart Delony, director of Arlington’s Youth Dynamics program for four years.

Delony’s predecessor, Bronco Huge, is now a staff pastor at the Youth Dynamics office in Burlington. The Northwest-based organization was founded in 1970 in Anacortes.

“We are reaching out to the kids who are hurting, alone and abandoned,” Delony said.

“We want to see them succeed in life, but maybe even more importantly, we want them to know there is someone out there who cares.”

The nonprofit organization reaches out to teenagers with a variety of programs.

They have a Skate Outreach with indoor skate boarding in the gym at the Arlington Free Methodist Church on Thursdays after school until 5 p.m.

They have a Saturday night service called Ventus, from 7 - 8 p.m., at the Arlington United Church, as well as outdoor weekend adventures and working vacations, this year at an orphanage in Mexico.

“The Saturday evening service, Ventus, is a sacred space for people to bring questions and doubts,” Delony said.

“It is a place to seek and search. It is a time of contemplation, conversation and community.” Delony said, adding that Ventus provides time for open conversation, where teens can discuss and even argue issues if they like.

The organization is also establishing a new partnership with the state Department of Social and Health Services.

“We are trying to connect with foster kids who get assigned to this area,” Delony said. “The foster kids often have feelings of being displaced. They are taken away from their families and we want to be there when they need new friends.”

Youth Dynamics also sponsors the teen center, Mud Hut, which is located upstairs in the American Legion building in downtown Arlington, although it is currently closed for a remodel, Delony said.

“We are sprucing the place up with new paint and new flooring.”

The Mud Hut has pool tables and couches and is simply a place for kids to hang out safely. It is scheduled to reopen in spring.

The fundraiser will help Youth Dynamics help pay for trips out of town for outdoor adventures, like rafting on the Wenatchee River, kayaking the Owyhee River or skiing in Leavenworth.

“The Owyhee River in Idaho was very remote,” Delony said. “There were no human beings. We find that kids just don’t know how to unplug … from MySpace for example. We want them to see there is more to life.”

They are also planning a week during spring break when the kids can work at an orphanage.

Delony added that the fundraiser will help pay for all the projects they do to help keep kids out of trouble.

“We are really just investing in their lives,” Delony said.

“We want to raise the bar and challenge them to show their self worth. We want to show them that God has a plan for them and their lives.”

Last year 150 people attended their fundraiser which received $20,000.

“We hope to up the bar this year,” he said.

For information see the Web site at www.yd.org.

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