Rockford Reachout Jail Ministry hosts ‘A Night in the Garden’

Online Staff Report

Rockford Reachout Jail Ministry will host its Second Annual “A Night in the Garden” from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, July 10. This summer fund-raising gala will be at the Nicholas Consevatory and Gardens. This year’s theme is “Renewed Growth,” and the major goal of the event is to raise the funding necessary to create a youth mentor program for boys and girls who have served time at the Winnebago County Juvenile Detention Center.

For more than 25 years, Rockford Reachout Jail Ministry has engaged young men and women, boys and girls inside the Juvenile Detention Center through its ReachoutYouth program. ReachoutYouth engages youth offenders with weekly class programs that challenge the thoughts, attitudes and behaviors that lead to youth crime. ReachoutYouth instructors and mentors also meet with youth one-on-one to build a relationship of trust, and to continue the progress made during class time.

The need is to continue the progress we make inside the detention center after these kids return home,” said George Hofstetter, executive director of Rockford Reachout Jail Ministry (the parent program of ReachoutYouth). “Youth mentor programs consistently reduce youth crime to 50 percent or more. ReachoutYouth is in a perfect position to become the leading youth mentor program in the region.”

The event will be hosted by WIFR’s Aaron Wilson (co-host of The Blend with Andy and Aaron), and more than 25 Reachout graduates (youth and adult) will be in attendance to share their stories of life change.

Tickets to the event are $50 (suggested donation) and may be purchased at the door or online at

For more about Rockford Reachout or ReachoutYouth, visit or call (815) 319-6625.

Posted July 2, 2014

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