Winter Festival Raises Money to Benefit Rogue Valley Youth

The festive event featured youth speeches, a ukulele group, and a silent auction.

Music, enticing specialty gifts, and delicious food were among the highlights at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility’s Winter Festival on Feb. 7, which raised nearly $5,000 to help youth at the facility.

The evening event saw 66 guests greeted by leadership youth and seated in the New Bridge High School commons area. Volunteers, Oregon Youth Authority staff, stakeholders, and community leaders raised $4,954 through dinner tickets and a silent auction of about 75 items. The items ranged from custom wood products made by youth, like cutting boards and tables, to community donations, such as a stay at Seven Feathers Casino and a barbecue from Home Depot.

The Winter Festival is an annual fundraiser for the Youth Incentive Fund, which aids with youth programming, special events, holiday celebrations, recognition of exceptional behavior, and acknowledgement of youth making positive changes in their lives.

The program portion of the event, emceed by Rogue Valley Superintendent Ken Jerin, opened with a youth ukulele group led by Steve Mounce, a qualified mental health professional at the facility. In addition to the scrumptious pot roast meal, Rogue Bros., the youth coffee team, made custom coffee drinks for guests. After waiting on tables and greeting guests, three of the leadership youth rounded out the program by giving speeches.

The event was also an opportunity to showcase Rogue Valley’s music recording group (they sold a few music CDs) and screen-printing program (which sold some custom-designed T-shirts).

“We had a great evening combining the effort of some very dedicated staff, volunteers, visitors, and youth,” Fes Lellis, volunteer and activity coordinator, said. “A total success as far as I was concerned!”

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