‘Sweet Night’ raises money for youth programs

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Graduates accept certificates for completing the S.T.E.P Program. From left: Donte’ Jeter, Ta-Wayne Steele, Anthony K. Brown, Sr., Steven Scott (behind), Christopher Old, Ricki Scott (behind) and Destiny Biggs.

The Northside was treated to a night of music and gourmet desserts for A Sweet Night on the Northside, a fundraiser held by New Hope for Neighborhood Renewal and sponsored by Mascaro Construction on May 20.

The event was held at the New Hazlett Theater in Allegheny Center and brought out 200 people.

The fundraiser for New Hope for Neighborhood Renewal — a community development subsidiary of the New Hope Church in Brightwood — raised funding for programs such as Y.E.S Kids, which stands forYouth Experiencing Success, and Students Trained, Equipped and Prepared for life after high school.

The S.T.E.P program was the main focus of the night and had a graduation ceremony for the seven students involved.

Destiny Biggs, Anthony K. Brown, Sr., Donte Jeter, Christopher Old, Ricki Scott, Steven Scott and Ta-Wayne Steele all graduated from the S.T.E.P. program, which teaches students time management, intercultural relations and positive study habits, among other things.

Of the seven, five of them are graduating high school this year and going to college.

James Herring, outreach assistant for S.T.E.P and the master of ceremony for the event, gave a history of the program.

"[The program] just started at the end of September," Herring said. He was asked to join for his ability to encourage and relate to the youth of the Northside.

Initially, Herring said he was worried about the ticket sales.

"On Saturday, we didn’t have that many tickets sold, but I just trusted in God and it turned out great.”

There was plenty of entertainment to keep the audience pleased, and the night featured musical performances from The Old School Band, James and Amy Ziegler, Rick Gallagher and Brian Weaver.

A sweet night it was, indeed, as guests enjoyed many different kinds of delectable desserts.

Deb Gumpf, executive director for New Hope for Neighborhood Renewal, gave a little background on the companies involved.

"Most of [the desserts] were donated, some we paid for," Gumpf said.

Keeping things local was also important.

"We like to work with people on the Northside. Priory Fine Pastries, Bistro To Go and The Cafe ‘n’ Creamery,” Gumpf said.

All in attendance appeared to have a wonderful time, and according to Gumpf, it’s an evening that they would like to see keep growing.

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