Need is up at the Bristol Community Food Pantry, but so are their blessings, according to a report in the Elkhart Truth.
“We’re serving over 100 a month, up from 67 two years ago,” said Brenda Spence, director of the pantry.
Thursday morning, the employees of Fabric Services showed up with eight carts full of blessings for the agency, which serves residents of the Bristol area.
“We have just over 600 items, about 50 employees,” said Steve Kercher, one of the dozens of employees who donned Santa hats to push the carts from their facility on the east side of town to the downtown food pantry. “We talked about trying to do something,” and when they decided to donate goods for the pantry, “everybody ponied up.”
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The Recreation Vehicle Industry Leadership prayer breakfast guest speaker Don Teague shared a story with attendees about listening to God and how it affects people’s lives. Teague, an Emmy award-winning CBS News correspondent, spoke to an audience of about 200 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel this morning (Dec. 1) during the 48th Annual RV Trade Show in Louisville, Ky.
According to a news release, though he started his remarks with wit and laughter, Teague’s retelling of his ordeal in Iraq while reporting for NBC on the war was also compelling to the audience, and at times Teague himself was brought to tears when he spoke of intense experiences such as a bombing at a newly rebuilt school in Baghdad and witnessing the spiritual rebirth of Rafraf Barrak, a young woman who served as a translator for the news crew on site and whom Teague befriended. He said was so moved by her courage and her plight – she received routine beatings at home for even the most casual contact with males and was told from the age of 5 she was “bad” – he decided to try and bring her to America with him and make her part of his family.
Teague relayed he went to Iraq after much prayer from his wife and himself, believing it was what he was called to do.
“I felt something really important would happen there,” he said. Even though he was afraid for his safety, he said he knew he would be protected, thinking, “It’s time to press into God. He’s faithful and He’ll be there with me.”
Teague said his faith was upheld when two bombs were planted at the school but miraculously, no one was hurt. Additionally, he said Barrak herself was kidnapped by a group of extremists with the intent to kill her, but she managed to dive from the fast-moving car and escape in the car of another motorist. After completing the “insurmountable task” of bringing a Shiite Muslim Iraqi to America, Barrak now lives with his family in Texas, where she has become a Christian and is an active member of their church.
“God always finds a way,” Teague declared. “Rafraf thought she was just lucky until she realized God was pursuing her. He does that to all of us. Listen to God; he’s pursuing you.”
This is the first year the prayer breakfast returned after a hiatus last year due to the economic downturn.
“It was wonderful to be able to hold the breakfast again,” said Carl Pletcher, coordinator of the event for RVI Leadership. “Don was a fantastic speaker and we enjoyed his story immensely.”
The master of ceremonies for the event was Steve Plemmons, CEO of Bill Plemmons RV World. The invocation was said by BJ Thompson, president of BJ Thompson Associates, while Jim Huebner, president of Huebner Petersen, read scriptures and Jack Enfield, sales and marketing manager at MOR/ryde, conducted the prayer.
Gold sponsors were Wilbur Bontrager, Jayco chairman of the board and CEO; Matthew Miller, Newmar Corp. president; John Wuori, Fabric Services president and CEO; Thetford/Norcold; BJ Thompson; Marzahn & King Consulting Inc.; John Regan, Fabric Services chairman of the board; and Jim Huebner.
Silver sponsors were Jack Enfield; Steve Plemmons; John Spader, Spader Business Management Inc. president; Carl Pletcher; and Mike Keller, Keller Marine and RV president.
Bronze sponsors were Chris Craft and Chad Stoltzfus, Lake City Bank, senior vice presidents of commercial banking; Gary Shuder, Newmar Corp. vice president of finance; and Statistical Surveys Inc.
“We are so grateful to our sponsors who supported the event this year. We would not have been able to bring it back without their generosity,” Pletcher stated. To be included on the mailing list or become a sponsor for next year’s event, contact him at (574) 215-7173 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s (RVIA) nominating committee is seeking candidates from the general membership to run in this year’s board of directors election.
There are seven seats up for election this year, including four manufacturer, one supplier and two at- large seats.
The RVIA board has the highest level of authority in the association’s organizational structure. It is responsible for association affairs on a broad policy basis.
“RVIA depends on the board of directors to guide the association’s work and chart a course for the future of the industry,” said John Regan, chairman of Fabric Services and chairman of RVIA’s nominating committee.
The board meets three times each year: in March, during Committee Week in mid-June, and in mid-September.
“All RVIA members who are interested in the many policy issues that affect the RV industry as a whole should consider running for election to the board,” Regan continued. “Board membership is a terrific way to help shape the climate for the industry for years to come.”
Each RVIA manufacturer and supplier member is afforded a single vote. Newly elected board members will begin serving their terms on Oct. 1, 2009. The deadline for nominations this year is June 15.
This year’s nominating committee members include Carl Pfalzgraf of Atwood Mobile Products and Bob Olson of Winnebago Industries Inc. Those interested in running for a board seat should contact a member of the nominating committee.