King’s Kids sets celebration

Published 10:17 pm Monday, September 9, 2013

Members of the King’s Kids of America Suffolk chapter pose for a photo at the organization’s spring banquet with Suffolk Public Schools Superintendent Deran Whitney in back. The organization will have an anniversary program later this month.

Members of the King’s Kids of America Suffolk chapter pose for a photo at the organization’s spring banquet with Suffolk Public Schools Superintendent Deran Whitney in back. The organization will have an anniversary program later this month.

Suffolk church Heaven on Earth Ministries will host a special event Sept. 28 to celebrate 24 years of an outreach program lifting the self-esteem of children.

The King’s Kids of America annual anniversary event will be held at the church, located at 510 East Pinner St., from 5 p.m.

Betty M. Knight, executive director of King’s Kids of America, Inc., said the outreach program builds the self-esteem of kids by honoring and praising them.

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“We teach children they are very special, no matter where they are and no matter who they are,” she said. “We teach them to appreciate who they are on the inside.”

The late Dr. Obadiah Colander started the program in September 1989, Knight said.

“We are trying to continue the vision that the founder had,” she said. “He always had a heart for the children, and now we are trying to continue that vision.”

2013 kings and queens will be unveiled during the anniversary celebration.

“(They) are chosen from the ages of 4 to 15,” Knight said. “We give out a trophy to the winners, and roses to the (other) children.”

Kings and queens, who walk down a white carpet, are chosen in advance, the names remaining a secret until the event.

Past kings and queens will be transported to the event in the back of a limousine, Knight said.

Meanwhile, prize drawings will include 10 bicycles and various monetary prizes of $50 for children and $100 for adults.

“Each child receives praises and awards,” Knight added.

The first half of the event takes place indoors, while second half is outside, with food, drinks, games and “many fun activities,” she said.

Knight is appealing for community support for the free event, which is open to the public. Businesses can purchase program ads by Sept. 24, and supporters can also donate bikes. Five boys’ and five girls’ bikes are required by Sept. 26, sized for ages four to six, seven to eight, nine to 10, 11 to 13 and 14 to 15.

Folks can also volunteer for various roles with the nonprofit outreach program, including teachers, assistants, bus drivers, fundraisers, administrative and coaches.

Everyone is invited to attend the anniversary event, Knight added.

Knight has been with the program since its inception. She said many children have now passed through after their parents did so earlier.

“Adults are coming back, joining the church and getting involved in the program itself, because they appreciate what we did for them when they were growing up,” Knight said.

For more information, including about supporting the event, call Knight at 539-6918.