Dozens of TAHS students take part in prayer event
KATHY KUNKEL/TIMES NEWS Tamaqua Senior High School students Francesca Gerace and Mikayla Dillman organized this year's See You At The Pole prayer event at Tamaqua Area Senior High School.
Today marks the 23rd anniversary of a movement created by a group of youth ministers in Texas, now a global event known as "See You At the Pole."
More than three million students throughout the world were expected to participate in the annual event.
In Tamaqua, more than 60 people ignored the chilly weather to gather at the flagpole in front of the Tamaqua Area Senior High School, almost two thirds of them students.
Participants also included parents, school staff and members of the community, bringing smiles of delight to the two organizers of the event, Francesca Gerace and Mikayla Dillman.
The two teens are members of the Tamaqua Class of 2014 and both plan to enter the ministry after graduation.
Helped by their friends and families, the girls created posters and bracelets and began spreading the word through their Facebook pages.
At 6:55 a.m. today, Francesca was just a little worried as she stood alone at the flagpole. Five minutes later, she was grinning from ear to ear as Mikayla and the others hurried to join her.
The two organizers offered their thanks and read from scripture, then everyone was given the opportunity to say a short, personal prayer as the group held hands.
When asked why she helped organize the event, Francesca noted she felt as though "God put that fire in my heart. I wanted to share His goodness and grace." Mikayla agreed and noted organizing and leading the event was the "perfect steppingstone to our futures."
SYATP has become an annual event, held on the fourth Wednesday in September. It was designed to offer Christian students an opportunity to pray together, after school prayer was declared to be unconstitutional.
The event continues to grow and has ben adopted by students throughout the world.