Salvation Army goes rogue for fundraiser

September 23, 2018

Most days, the auditorium-like sanctuary at The Salvation Army at 2921 N. Clinton St. serves as a place to preach and teach the word of God. 

Saturday, with swirly orange patterns projected on the ceiling and blue and reddish lights bathing the stage as children wielding lightsabers jousted with one another, it appeared to have gone rogue.

But it was all for Rogue Weekend : the Salvation Army’s annual fall fundraiser for its other charitable programs, said Maj. Geffory Crowell, the organization’s director who took the helm in June.

“We did Harry Potter last year. (The planning committee) thought there would be a wider audience for ‘Star Wars,’” he said.

The weekend featured a “Star Wars”-themed gala for grown-ups Friday night. Saturday’s activities were geared toward families : although there were plenty of grown-ups just as happy to pose with someone dressed as Darth Vader.

Outside in the parking lot, adventuresome youngsters tried zip lining and climbing a rock wall. Inside, the lightsabers captivated others.

“It’s fun,” said Sophia O’Neal, 3, with her mom Carmella O’Neal, 35, of Fort Wayne. 

“We got the candy and we got a toy,” the little blonde added.

The Salvation Army sponsors an after-school program, a food pantry, housing assistance, outreach to veterans and a ministry for families with a newborn in intensive care, Crowell said.

The weekend will close with a worship service at 10 a.m. today in Lakeside Park, he said. 

“Anything that can draw people in is good,” added Crowell, who came to Fort Wayne from St. Paul, Minnesota.

“We just try to show the unchurched that church is not a scary place, that we are just regular people who happen to love Jesus.” 


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