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Church hopes to help hungry children in Pontiac



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July 20, 2011 - Bridgewood Church teams up with Power Company Kids Club of Pontiac to help feed Pontiac inner city kids with their Making a Difference in a Child's Life event, formally known as One Day to Feed the World, on July 29-31.

The Power Company Kids Club, founded by Pastor John Gunn, has been busing in over 800 kids to their center on Saturdays for the past 18 years. They instill hope in them by sending out positive messages of staying in school and off the streets, saying "no" to drugs, and eliminating racism and violence.

Most recently, Power Company Kids developed a summer day camp to help feed children in Pontiac.

"They were realizing many of these children weren't getting meals because the only meals they were getting was the lunch they got in school," said Sue Marquis, spiritual life pastor at Bridgewood. "Not only do they feed them, but they visit them in their homes every week, so they're also touching families of whoever is in that home."

Marquis said Power Company is feeding around 130 kids through the summer day camp, and Bridgewood wants to help expand that number.

"It's our hope that with everyone doing their part and participating in these events we're having, they'll be able to more than double that feeding program next year and get these kids in," she said. "I would love to even triple it."

Marquis said she's seen the impact Power Company has first hand because one of Bridgewood's newest team pastors, Dustin McClellan, was a product of the program and is now assistant director at Power Company.

"He was one of those street kids they invested in when he was young," Marquis said. "He would climb on their bus."

Bridgewood is kicking off Making a Difference in a Child's Life weekend on Friday, July 29, with family outdoor movie night starting at 7:30 pm. The movie to be shown is "Despicable Me."

"We're asking people to bring lawn chairs and blankets," Marquis said. "We'll have concessions available if they want to purchase any concession items. Other than that it's completely free. We are accepting donations if people want to give."

The night will also have inflatables, face paintings, and a slew of famous characters for the children to get their picture with, like Spiderman, Repunzel, Darth Vader, and three characters from Peter Pan.

"We'll have it rain or shine," Marquis said. "We'll move it in if there is bad weather."

On July 30, there will be a motorcycle fun run called Ride for Hunger. Registration will be at Bridgewood Saturday morning at 8 a.m. The cost is $20 per rider and $5 per passenger.

"They will ride their bikes a total of 80 miles, but have seven local stops they have to make along the way," Marquis said. "At those stops they will play one round of Yatzee and after the last stop, they will have completed the game. People with the best scores will receive prizes."

Then on Sunday, July 31, the annual Run for Hunger 5K and family one mile fun run/walk will begin registering between 7-8 am. The race will begin at 8:30 am. The cost to run the 5K or for a family to do the one mile is $20.

"We just feel it's such a great learning tool for parents to teach their kids to care and look outside themselves and see conditions in the world and get the mindset they can do something to make a difference," Marquis said.

Along the Family one mile will be Cinderella, Dora, Spiderman, and Captain Jack Sparrow to help keep the encouragement going.

"This isn't a church event, it's an Oakland-County-gives-back event. All the sponsors are businesses from Oakland County that are pitching in," Marquis said. "We're just using our grounds as a facility for them to have these events."

After the race is over, there will be a rally with music and guest speaker Pastor John Gunn from Power Company Kids.

"We're just inviting anybody that's reading this story to come and join us at one of these events," Marquis said. "Their participation can actually help us make a difference in the lives of these children that are just a few miles away from us."

For more information or to register, visit onedaytofeed.com or call the church office at 248-625-1344.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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