A festive air prevailed as Grade 12 students, teachers and members of Sylvan Lake’s Christian community gathered for the 18thannual Bibles for Grads celebration at the community centre last Thursday.
The gymnasium was beautifully decorated in a red, white and black theme with balloons adding to the celebratory atmosphere.
They enjoyed a turkey dinner provided by volunteers from various area churches, watched an amazing and captivating performance by the Acronaires from Canadian University College in Lacombe, were recipients of gifts provided by local businesses and most importantly each received a Bible with their name on it.
Mayor Susan Samson congratulated the students and told them “as you move into the next stages of life you need tools to do that trip. Another tool to guide you is the Bible.”
She added the more you use the tools the more proficient you become with them. “Turn to the Bible for quotes that help guide you in life.”
Because the annual event was held earlier than normal, the full 35 member team of Acronaires was able to perform. They’d finished classes the day before.
Two of the youngest on the team are 10 while the oldest was 53.
Students Ashley Fuller and Brooklynn Soley were invited to join the athletes for one of their demonstrations.
One of the goals of the acrobatics team is to encourage people to bephysically fit, students were told.
Several of the athletes also provided testimonies to their faith in God.
At least 174 Bibles were presented to local studentsfrom École H. J. Cody High School, École Secondaire Notre Dame High School in Red Deer, Lighthouse Christian Academy, Sylvan Lake Career High School as well as home schooled students.
“It amazes me,” said organizer Sharon Nielsen. “Every year I’m nervous, are we going to have enough food. But it always works out, there’s always more than enough. Everyone comes and helps.”
Money for the event is raised through the Good Friday interdenominational service organized by Sylvan Lake Ministerial Association (which includes Benalto Baptist Church) as well as through individual donations.
An offering during the Massed Choir concert at Christmas also supports the event.