Students gather at flag pole for prayer

Published 1:41 am Wednesday, September 15, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Despite sideways glances and flat-out stares from some, students, parents, and teachers bowed their heads in prayer this morning at Brandywine Junior/Senior High School.
The group of 25 people sang songs and were led in prayer by various students for the half hour they were gathered from 7 to 7:30 a.m.
The prayer service was part of the national "See You at the Pole" event. The event was started by a young student in Texas and has grown to millions of young people across the country.
August Garritano, 15, a ninth grader at the high school, organized the event with his friend, Lauren Kachur, 15, also a ninth grader.
August wanted to take part in the event because he feels that his faith in God has helped him through many problems in his life.
Over the past two years, August saw his parents get divorced and August moved to Byron Center, a small town just outside of Grand Rapids, to live with his father.
After a year, Byron decided that he wanted to move back with his mother. After what August described as a bitter court battle, he was allowed to return to his mother's home.
August said without his faith, the ordeal would have been much harder to go through.
Now, August said he has a better relationship with his mother and grandmother because they attend church together.
In his free time, August helps at the youth ministry at Granger Community Church, where he attends services, and while on a mission trip this past summer, decided he would like to become a pastor.
After high school, August plans to attend college to earn a degree in theology. He would then like to attend seminary to become a pastor.
August and Lauren also plan to start an after-school Bible study group called "Cross-eyed." After the service, many students expressed an interest in the group.
August said the importance of the "See You at the Pole" event was one of getting a message out.