CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

February 5, 2009

Valentine dinner to benefit mission work


By Tiffany Green

STAFF WRITER

Kenya Relief will host a Valentines dinner theater, Friday, Feb. 13, at Larkwood Club to benefit upcoming mission trips.

To Kenya with Love, a Valentines dinner theater will feature fine dining, lively entertainment and dancing.

“This is the first event of this type,” said Emily Durden, marketing coordinator with Kenya Relief.

“It will be a semi-formal event,” she said. “The entertainment will be Jim Nelson and his wife. He is a saxophonist and she is a pianist. They have over 6,000 songs in their repertoire.”

In 2009, nine teams are scheduled to travel to Migori, Kenya, to host a vacation bible school to more than 100 local children and will provide free medical care to the community.

Durden said the event is being catered by Sissy Conn. The cuisine will offer some traditional Kenyan dishes.

“We will have Kenyan entrees to try,” Durden said. “We will have a Kenyan theme.”

Durden said this will be a event different from others hosted by Kenya Relief.

“The money will go to the missionaries from Cullman who travel to Kenya to spread the message of Jesus Christ,” she said.

Many of these missionaries are Cullman residents in need of support to assist with the expense of the journey.

“You can help a good cause and treat your loved one on the holiday,” she said.

Tickets are $25 per person or $45 per couple and can be purchased at the Kenya Relief office, located at 1st Ave. S.E. or by calling 256-531-2535, Conn Surveyors are 202 1st Ave, S.E., or 256-734-2058 or by calling Carole Williams at 256-338-4980 or 256-734-4122. Corporate sponsorships are available.

Steve James founded Kenya Relief as a tribute to his daughter, Brittney, who died unexpectedly at age 19 in 2001. James said when Brittany was 16, she began sponsoring a Kenyan boy named Newman.

After his daughter’s passing, James took over the responsibility of sponsoring Newman and soon started a college fund for the boy. In 2002, he got the opportunity to travel to Kenya and volunteered at a hospital. While there, he met Newman.

When he returned, he started the Brittney James Child Fund and raised more than $25,000. He later changed the name to Kenya Relief. The organization has since built an orphanage as well as a dormitory to house the volunteer missionaries who travel to Kenya. Just this past summer, Whit’s Place, a new dining facility, was built and dedicated in memory of Whit Warren, who had traveled to Kenya before his unexpected death in 2005.



‰ Tiffany Green can be reached by e-mail at tgreen@cullmantimes.com or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 221.