Above: Mathew Mason Leads the MS/HS choir at Light the Night. (Photo courtesy Urban Impact volunteers)

To help the Northside welcome the holiday season, the Urban Impact Performing Arts Department held their first ever ‘Light the Night’ event.

The ceremony was held Friday, December 9 at 7 p.m. at the Allegheny Center Alliance Church with over 995 people in attendance.

The Urban Impact Children’s Choir, Urban Impact Singers and Urban Impact Choir sang songs separately as well as joined together for a few songs.

Nine of the Urban Impact students performed some improvisational comedy. Reverend Dr. Ed Glover, founder and president of Urban Impact Foundation, highlighted the night with a presentation about Christmas and its message. Pastor Glover was recently recognized by the Christian and Missionary Alliance for 25 years of service and he also won the Restoring Place Award in October for his work and commitment to the Northside.

After the presentation and performances, Urban Impact sold ornaments, note cards and T-shirts in which the sale proceeds will benefit Urban Impact. They also gave information on volunteering opportunities as well as their upcoming charity partnership with the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon in 2012.

“It wasn’t just a program; the children felt loved and affirmed by the community, and no feeling is greater than that,” said Tammy Glover, wife of Rev. Ed Glover and co-founder of Urban Impact Foundation.

Urban Impact Foundation is a faith-based, nonprofit community development organization whose mission is to fulfill its part in serving the Northside by investing in the lives of at-risk children, youth and their families in order to develop productive and responsible members of society and the community. With 16 years on the Northside, Urban Impact aspires to accomplish its mission through athletics, summer day camps, performing arts, and Global Impact and Options programs. They now enroll over 1,100 at-risk kids in its different programs, posting a 97 percent graduation rate in 2011. They thrive on the support of churches, various organizations, individuals, foundations and community members through donations and sponsorships.

The Urban Impact Children’s Choir is composed of 65 elementary students under the tutelage of Sheri Turnbull. The Urban Impact Choir, comprised of 100 middle and high school students, shares its ministry under the direction of Matthew Mason and Tammy Glover, wife of Rev. Ed Glover. The Urban Impact Singers, made up of nine singers and directed by Matthew Mason, perform shows on the road. The choirs, as well as the students, get together for meals, bible lessons, rehearsals and worship every week.

“The kids are growing. They’re making strides and doing great things with their lives.”

Rev. Ed and Tammy continue to hold the vision of transforming the Northside through every person and family.

“At the end of the day, you need someone to walk alongside you to help you make the transition and become successful in life, and that’s what we’re here for.”