By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT — Young adults looking for social and service-oriented activities involving faith are invited to attend Young Adult Catholics Hanging Together (YACHT) Club.
Anyone ages 18-35 who is out of high school, single or married may attend, said Aaron Gunnare, president of the club and a member of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport.
He formed the group in July 2008 and its first event was held the following month. Although many of the members are from Our Lady of Victory, he said individuals from any parish are invited to attend. “Events are open to any young adult looking to get involved. Over the past two years our membership has come from multiple parishes in the diocese, and as far away as Keota.”
Gunnare said the group has three areas of emphasis: faith, social and service.
“Our faith-based activities have included the Why Catholic? series, a Bible study, as well as attending Stations of the Cross together.” When there is an activity underway, the group typically meets weekly or biweekly. “Currently we are in the process of examining new programs for our future faith-based activities,” he said.
For social events, the club tries to meet every month or two. Activities have included going out for dinner, attending a comedy night, board game night and grilling out. One activity this summer was a trip to the drive-in movie theater near Maquoketa.
The service aspect of the group has been more challenging to accomplish. “We have tried to do service projects as they come our way. This has been the most difficult of the three areas to be consistent on,” Gunnare admits. Two or three members have helped serve a meal at the Salvation Army on a monthly basis, and co-hosted a spring clean-up for parishioners with the 2009 confirmation class at Our Lady of Victory Parish.
“It is tough to plan a service project without having a good idea of the number of volunteers. We have recently taken the approach to try and help supplement existing service projects throughout the parish.”
As president or “captain” of the YACHT Club, Gunnare said he chairs the organizational meetings, is a member of the parish pastoral council and reports to that group on young adults.
“I am blessed to have wonderful help in the organization and planning for YACHT Club activities,” he noted. The vice president is Cecila Pham, and Julie Kilburg also helps to plan and run activities. Leigh Boorn, youth minister at Our Lady of Victory, is the liaison/advisor to the parish.
YACHT Club programming is planned by young adults to meet the needs and interests of their age group, Gunnare says, while also building a bond with the other organizations in the Church. “Our goal is to continually collect feedback from young adults and adapt our programming to fit the current needs and wishes of our members.”
The next big gathering is scheduled for Aug. 8. A barbecue will be held at Our Lady of Victory Parish Center in Davenport. More details are available by e-mail.
For more information on YACHT, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.