Summer Slam: ‘Seeds were planted’

Published 9:12 pm Monday, August 30, 2010

The band Hemotheory performs at the Suffolk Summer Slam on Saturday. The eight-hour event attracted about a thousand people, organizers said.

Hundreds of people attended this Saturday’s Suffolk Summer Slam to play volleyball, listen to regional bands and take part in fun games.

Most important, however, “seeds were planted and lives were transformed,” said coordinator Win Anderson, a volunteer from the group Impact Suffolk, which sponsored the event.

“I think people were encouraged,” Anderson said. “Up until about nine o’clock, we were pretty much packed out.”

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Anderson estimated about a thousand people came and went throughout the eight-hour, first-time event at Bennett’s Creek Park. A variety of activities were planned for the day, including volleyball and cornhole tournaments, bands and drama teams, Invoke Skate Ministry and Soar Dunk Team, a water balloon challenge, a dunking booth and more.

However, the real purpose of the event was apparent in the bands’ prayers before they started each segment of music. The free, afternoon-long party was set up as a way for organizers to reach the youth of Suffolk in the name of Jesus Christ.

“There was a lot of encouragement for believers,” Anderson said. “There were a lot of youth out there.”

Local churches set up booths at the event to draw in new congregants, and colleges Regent University, Liberty University and Bryant & Stratton College sent representatives to inspire the young people to start thinking about college.

Regional bands Angels vs. Arsonists, Hemotheory, Pursuing the Hero, Raiderz of the Lost and YouthQuest came from as far as Lynchburg to participate in the event. Drama teams from YouthQuest and the Virginia Fire Team also took the stage in between bands.

National Christian radio station K-LOVE also made an appearance at the event, and the Salvation Army collected school supplies for its annual school supply drive. The supplies will be handed out this week to those in the community who need them.

Anderson said Impact Suffolk already is making plans for next year’s Suffolk Summer Slam.

“It’s definitely going to be an annual event,” he said.