LIMA — The annual Debs and Gents for Christ Cotillion will be held Saturday at Veterans Memorial Civic Center.
This marks the 33rd anniversary of the program by Shiloh Baptist Church, said Ann Wilson, co-chairwoman of the charm and etiquette committee.
“First and foremost, I want to give thanks to God for allowing us to endure for 33 years,” Wilson said. “Our main objective is to encourage them to live for Christ and pursue an educational goal beyond the high school level.”
This year’s event features six students: Jerris Anderson, Jordyn Barnett, Crystia Beasley, Shamar Dixon, ReNia Green and Ryan Moore.
Association with Shiloh is not a requirement, Wilson said, explaining none of the youth in the program this year are associated with the church.
The participants meet from November to March. The programs at the weekly meetings are varied, from listening to guest speakers on topics like financial management and scholarships, to doing community service.
This year, three charities were selected. Toiletries and household goods were given at Thanksgiving to Heartbeat of Lima and at Christmas to Mary Alice House. The students also did a fundraiser to give cash directly to Youth for Christ.
The program focuses on being prepared for adulthood, being positive, helping the community they live in and making something of themselves.
“I want to leave a thought for the participants: Don’t go through life with an attitude but a better gratitude,” Wilson said.
The program Saturday will feature guest speaker Camri Nelson. She is a Philadelphia native and earned a journalism degree at University of Cincinnati. She works at Your Hometown Stations and has worked at The Lima News. She is involved in several community groups and attends Lima Community Church.