Suffolk Ruritans continue support of King’s Kids

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

When Bishop Obadiah Colander established the &uot;King’s Kids of America Inc.&uot; in 1989, he had a vision to teach youths – ages four through 15 – how to become positive assets to their community. Today, the organization that began with only 25 children offers training for the spirit, mind and body of more than 400.

Supporting such a large number of kids takes a lot of volunteers and a great deal of funding. One group the organization has annually counted as a major benefactor is the Suffolk Ruritan Club, and on Friday the Ruritans continued their tradition of supporting the King’s Kids to 15 years.

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Colander, founder and administrator of King’s Kids, and the Betty Milteer Knight, executive director, met with members of the Ruritans to accept a $1,000 check for the kids.

&uot;We are deeply grateful to the Suffolk Ruritans for their fine support,&uot; said Colander. &uot;We appreciate the gift and we also appreciate the fact that they recognize the work we are doing with the youth of Suffolk. It is through benefactors like the Ruritans that we are able to carry on our mission.

Knight pointed out that funding enables King’s Kids to take the young people on field trips, picnics, sports, and social events, and it helps them perform community projects.

&uot;It is important that the youths have access to activities that many would not otherwise be able to attend,&uot; said Knight.

&uot;For instance, we are taking them on a field trip to see an Easter play at Deep Creek Baptist Church. They also get to go to places like the Norfolk Zoo, King’s Dominion and Water Country USA. These activities are backed up with plenty of teaching them good manners, leadership skills, and spiritual training. We are growing healthy people with healthy minds to become the future of Suffolk.&uot;

Presenting the gift that helps make all that possible was Suffolk Sheriff Raleigh H. Isaacs Sr.; W. Randolph Carter Jr., clerk of court for Suffolk; and C. Phillips Ferguson, Suffolk’s Commonwealth’s attorney.

All three men have been members of the Suffolk Ruritans for more than 20 years each, holding every office within the organization.

&uot;We are very pleased that we are again able to support the King’s Kids financially… for the fine work they do for the youth in this city,&uot; said Ferguson. &uot;It is important to note that many of the youths come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and Bishop Colander, Betty Knight and the Assistant Director Brenda Nichols all work tirelessly with them to instill values that will produce good citizens and we are pleased to continue our support.&uot;

Carter added that Suffolk Ruritan Club recognized early on that King’s Kids proved what a valuable program it is for youth.

&uot;King’s Kids deserve the support of the entire community, and the Suffolk Ruritan Club is thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful effort in helping the youth of our city.&uot;

Isaacs noted that it is important that every citizen, organization, and business support the King’s Kids.

&uot;Phil, Randy and I have been honorary board members of the King’s Kids since its inception and we are proud to be able to support the organization,&uot; said Isaacs. &uot;As members of the Suffolk Ruritans, we would also like to challenge other clubs, businesses and individuals to stand behind these Kids and their future. Giving to King’s Kids can only enhance the quality of life in Suffolk.&uot;

King’s Kids meet in six locations across the city including their home base at Faith Temple Church. For more information, call Knight at 539-6918 or 484-0442.

Those who would like to support the King’s Kids may send tax-deductible checks to King’s Kids of America Inc., P.O. Box 3163, Suffolk, VA, 23434.