Bridging the Gap dinner set Jan. 5
The 13th annual Bridging the Gap dinner will be held on Saturday, Jan. 5 at Monroe Country Club at 6:30 p.m.
This year's theme is "Can you hear what we are saying?"
It is open to all ages and free.
Ella Hood, the event's organizer, thought of the theme when she was wondering how to reach out to youth.
"Children are making a statement, not just verbally, but they are really making statements to us with their actions," Hood said. "It is now time that we really stop and listen. We should listen with our ears and we should listen with our eyes."
There will be guest speakers including Mayor Bobby Kilgore, Attorney Tiffany Wilson, members of the Monroe Youth Council and others.
The Youth Council was born out a Bridging the Gap dinner from a few years ago when a young person asked how they can effect change in their community.
The event started small and has grown over the years.
Hood started the event when she found herself praying on what she could do to bring the community together.
"The words just came, 'Bridge the gap,'" she said.
This year's theme seems more important now in light of the recent violence in Connecticut, Hood said.
"I think we need to go back and reach back out and take our children," she said.
"We have a problem in America, not just in America, but all over, we are not listening," Hood said. "We, as a people, we need to stop and start paying attention to our youth, to just people in general."
Anyone is welcome to attend. The event is usually a full house.
Hood advised people to come on an empty stomach, because there is always a lot of food, she said.