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Student rally is prayer warmup

September 18, 2000

Student rally is prayer warmup



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


Youth across the Tri-State area are hoping their faith will trigger a student prayer movement at all schools throughout Washington County and surrounding areas.

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About 400 students gathered Sunday at the Amphitheater at Hagerstown Community College for a pre-rally, to gear up for the national See You at the Pole event, which will be held Wednesday morning. More three million Christian youth across the world are expected to participate at their schools.

Adrian Branch, former Los Angeles Laker and Maryland basketball player, and two local Christian bands were at the pre-rally.

See You at the Pole began in Burleson, Texas, in 1990 after groups of students from three different schools chose to pray at their schools' flagpoles, according to Tom Savage, coordinator for the Tri-State Youth Net. Tri-State Youth Net is sponsoring the event.

The idea quickly spread and has now become an annual international rally.

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Savage said the rally is being led by the students.

"It's kids pulling kids together and encouraging them to go out to the poles and pray on Wednesday," Savage said.

He also said the idea is catching on locally, with representatives from all of Washington County's middle and high schools attending the pre-rally. Several representatives from schools in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Frederick County in Maryland also attended. About 20 churches were also on hand. Thirty-five schools overall were represented.

The students plan to meet at their schools' flagpoles about 45 minutes before school starts on Wednesday to pray. An adult See You at the Pole rally is also scheduled for the flagpole in front the Washington County Courthouse on the corner of Washington Street and Summit Avenue at 6 a.m.

"It's really important for kids to be praying at their schools," said Ben Heinrich, 16, a student at Williamsport High School.

Ken Hock, a 17 year-old at Smithsburg High School, said praying will bring more students together.

"It's a great ministry," Ken said. "It pulls us together as teenagers and as Christians. There are so many worries in our lives as teenagers, that we need to lift up."

Dustin Showalter, a 17-year old at North Hagerstown High School, hopes a daily prayer before school continues every day of the school year.

"Hopefully each morning we can get together and pray a little bit," Dustin said. "It's really important for youth to pray and make a stand for God. And it's one, good, fun thing to kick off the year."

Alaina Rowe, 15, a student at South Hagerstown High School, has been participating in the See You at the Pole rally since sixth grade.

"It's fellowship of the Christians," Rowe said. "It's nice to know other people have faith too."

"This is going to be the year that we turn everything around," said Nhut Nguyen, 16, a student at Williamsport High School. "I want to make a change in my school. The first step is getting pumped up here," he said of the pre-rally.

Smithsburg Middle School teacher Lora Myers said she plans to join students gathering at the flagpole at her school.

"It's good that the kids can go to each other for support," Myers said. "I'll try to be at the flagpole and get as many other Christian teachers as I can."

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