Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Youth Serve the Needy

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Youth Serve the Needy

Article excerpt

Members of the Sarasota High School girls basketball teamed helped the Sarasota Ministerial Association serve those less fortunate a traditional Thanksgiving meal Wednesday.

Tom Pfaff, Goodwill Chaplain and chair of the Ministerial association, instructed team members Sarah Bradtmueller, Karis Powell, Caylee Wallace, Natasha Wilcox, Emily Harding, Kayla Imboden, Kylie Warner, Brooke Blackwell, Zharia Grable, Katie Rose, Natalie Vesley, Sam Guillen, Emily Giuffre, Shelby Shea, Ashley Allen, Meredith Sauceda, Irena Wilcox, Jer'Myla Trebbles, Maggie Hogan and Rickea Jones in the finer points of service.

Pfaff thanked them and joked, "You ladies are very smart -- that is why you beat Riverview last night."

In addition to the homeless, invitations to the annual event were specifically extended to "those in transition," this year, said Pfaff.

The Ministerial Association comprises more than 40 churches and faith organizations; they have come together each Thanksgiving for the past 12 years, Pfaff said, to help and serve the homeless in the community -- dishing up traditional holiday dinners.

Participating local churches and faith organizations include the event venue -- St. Martha Catholic Church -- as well as First Sarasota, the Downtown Baptist Church; First United Methodist; First Presbyterian; Church of the Redeemer; West Coast Center; Venice Interfaith Community Association and the Jewish Federation.

This is the second year that the Lady Sailor athletes have volunteered to serve; although volunteerism is a component of the basketball program, the athletes genuinely enjoy the event.

"This is an important event for us," junior varsity head coach Dean Berkey said, "because it is an opportunity to give back to the community.

"The community supports our team and we support the community."

Berkey is an Elder at his home church, Sarasota Alliance Church. Berkey added that it is important to live faith and learn a life of service; "I hope that we try to impart that to the team," he said.

More than 350 homeless and transitional people attended the event; Patricia Hill brought her children, Shel'tavia, 2 and William, 4. …

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