Gray to perform at Youth for Christ banquetSinger-songwriter Jason Gray will perform at the annual James Valley Youth for Christ “Report to the People” Banquet, the group’s major yearly fundraiser.
By: By Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Singer-songwriter Jason Gray will perform at the annual James Valley Youth for Christ “Report to the People” Banquet, the group’s major yearly fundraiser.
“We have always wanted to do a musical guest. We’ve never done that before, and we’ve just never found the right fit,” said Troy Gunderson, executive director of James Valley Youth for Christ. “Jason Gray really fit the bill.”
Gray, a native of Minneapolis, performed in Jamestown previously with the Called to Love Tour. He first reached a national audience with his 2007 album, “All the Lovely Losers.”
At the banquet, Gray will perform solo with an acoustic guitar and sound system — a much more intimate concert, Gunderson said.
The event will be the James Valley Youth for Christ’s 18th “Report to the People” Banquet, meaning that youth will tell the community members attending what they’ve done over the past year and what their plans for the future are for the organization. Students also talk about their experiences with the Youth for Christ ministry.
The dinner, catered by Emma Rosie’s Home Cookin’, will include chicken, rice, glazed carrots, salad and a roll.
The banquet for community members also includes an opportunity to give to Youth for Christ’s ministry.
The banquet has grown since its inception in 1995, and in Gunderson’s 15 years with the James Valley group, attendance swelled from 350 to 600, necessitating a move from the Knights of Columbus Club to the Jamestown Civic Center.
Tickets to the event are free, because businesses and individuals donate money to sponsor tables of eight. Some businesses keep their tickets for employees and others return them to Youth for Christ to distribute.
As of Thursday, 81 tables had been sponsored, with a goal of 90 tables.
“It’s not just a concert. It is a fundraising event,” Gunderson said.
The organization hopes to raise $80,000 during the banquet, which represents about a third of the James Valley group’s annual budget. Half of that typically comes from individuals in the community who agree to match the proceeds from the banquet.
The group does not receive any national funding.
About 75 percent of the students it serves are in middle school, and the rest are in high school. About 150 students have attended the Teen City ministry since the beginning of the school year, Gunderson said.
“We really count on the banquet. We really need to make this one count,” Gunderson said. “… the number of kids we’re serving has been growing faster than the amount of money we’re receiving.”
The “Report to the People” Banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Jamestown Civic Center.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a table or in receiving tickets should call 701-252-5501 or email email@example.com.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can
be reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at