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Christian concert offers music for a cause

Organizers want the community to take advantage of good music for a great cause.

A Christian vocal group will perform this weekend at a fundraiser to help send teens to camp.

Mercy’s Well will sing at 7 p.m. Saturday at Green High School gymnasium in Franklin Furnace. Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door.

Brad Strider, member of Mercy’s Well, said the Christian band has been around since 2001 and describes the music as a variety.

“We do some gospel, some inspirational,” Strider said. “There will be something for everyone.”

The proceeds from the concert will help fund a teen camp organized by Ohio Furnace Enterprise Baptist Church. The camp is from July 4 through July 10 at White Oak Enterprise Baptist Youth Camp. The camp is free so that more teens are able to go.

Kyle Stormes, a youth leader from the church, said the cost to host the camp has gone up, and he hopes the concert will help.

“It used to be around $4,000,” Stormes said, “but now it’s anywhere from $6,000 to $7,000 with food prices and everything skyrocketing high, as well as gas.”

The camp is for ages 12 to 18 and is open to any teens in the area. Stormes said the number of teens attending the camp varies, but he has never seen fewer than 50.

Stormes said about 20 volunteers from the church help at the camp, with some of those taking a week of vacation from work to help out.

Kellie Hagen, 26, of Franklin Furnace, used to attend the camp as a teen and now volunteers at the camp every year.

“I’ve been going to the camp since I was 15,” Hagen said. “It’s very special. A place to get away from the everyday world.”

Hagen said the best part for her is watching all the youth growing in the Lord. She said the camp also helps the youth with socialization.

“They grow closer to each other and make friends,” Hagan said. “Some kids don’t get to go on a vacation and this is all they get.”

Hagan adds that, like other camps, there are always pranks.

“Kool-Aid in the shower heads and saran wrap on the toilet bowl,” Hagan laughed.

Stormes said the camp has a morning class and then about four hours of activities every day, including water games and sports and then an evening service.

“We play basketball, volleyball, baseball and Frisbee,” said Allison Slone, 18-year-old senior at Green High School. “The annual water slide — we put plastic on a big hill with water and baby oil. Everyone looks forward to that.”

Slone has been going to camp for about 10 years. She said she likes getting close to God and close to everyone else.

“It’s meeting new people and getting closer to old friends,” Slone said. “It helps us get out of our shell.”

Slone said she has listened to Mercy’s Well on the radio, and is excited to have them coming to town for the concert.

“I think they’re marvelous,” Slone said.