Banquet to benefit outreach group

If you've ever wanted to drive a 100-ton excavator, get your checkbook ready for Friday's Young Life fundraiser.

An afternoon operating heavy equipment on a 10-acre sand lot in Denver is one of more than 60 items up for auction at the annual fundraising banquet for the local chapter of Young Life, an international organization that provides Christian outreach to teenagers. The banquet is Friday night at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel.

What: Young Life's annual fundraising banquet

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel ballroom

Call: Young Life chapter director Lucas Adams at 871-4822

The Steamboat Springs chapter of Young Life facilitates activities in a "fun, safe environment" for more than 100 Steamboat high school students, chapter director Lucas Adams said.

In addition to camps in the summer and winter, Young Life students meet at a different teen's house every Monday to talk, play games and enjoy time together, Adams said.

"Young Life's goal is to introduce adolescents to Christ," he said.

That introduction can take place in areas well outside of Steamboat. Adams said this summer's camp is in Minnesota, and last year, members of the group spent a week sea kayaking in British Columbia.

The banquet raised $47,000 last year, Adams said. This year's goal is $60,000.

The evening will include silent and live auctions, a raffle, dinner and dancing hosted by a deejay. The heavy equipment auction item is titled "Every Grown Boy's Wish" and is sponsored by the Wagner Equipment Co. of Denver. With the winning bid, as many as four people can spend an afternoon operating Caterpillar equipment -- with as much as 1,000 horsepower -- at Wagner's headquarters in Denver.

Other auction items include a week's lodging in Aruba, a ski pass, golf trips, a "party boat ride," dinner at Lake Catamount and a mountain bike.

Adams said all of the auction items were donated.

"Young Life is sincerely thankful to all the people who are helping out," he said.

More than 250 people have signed up for the banquet. Table sponsorships are available and cost $300 for a table of 10. Adams said the evening is about more than raising money.

"It's a fundraiser, but it's also to share the vision of coming together alongside high school kids," he said.

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