Monday, May 28, 2007

Powerful crusade

editorial note *I love the motivation from torn phone books. Made me want to go out and mow my lawn and then my neighbor's lawn and his strawberry patch.

Dundee-Crown hears motivational group’s message

Posted Saturday, May 26, 2007

Jannet Abraham-Clark has a checkered past.

The former TV personality on the weekly series “Roller Jam,” Clark said she grew up in a broken home.

Her dad was addicted to gambling. Her mom died when she was 18. And she experimented with — and eventually dealt — drugs at a young age.

“That wall of concrete reminds me a little of my life,” Clark told the Dundee-Crown High School students gathered for an assembly at the school.

Then the bodybuilding minister flexed her arms and broke the large stack of bricks with her elbow.

And so went Friday’s performance of The Power Team, a religious group that holds school assemblies during the day and puts on religious “crusades” at churches in the evening.

The event was split into motivational speaking, feats of strength and an advertising campaign for the group’s performances this week at Elgin’s Church in the Word.

The group broke baseball bats, ripped a phonebook, bent steel, crushed soda cans, smashed bricks and told the kids they could see that and more if they went to the evening events.

“Today is a small taste,” Power Team member Ray Clark told the students, explaining they could see even more explosive feats — such as smashing bricks set on fire and running through blocks of ice — in the evenings. “You don’t want to miss that. You want to make sure you’re there.”

Critics say The Power Team’s recruiting efforts cross the line by promoting religion in schools.

But the group didn’t talk religion at Dundee-Crown.

Instead, they told students to say no to drugs, violence and sex before marriage.

“In order to be a champion in life, you have to make the right choices,” Abraham-Clark said. “Each and every one of you has a purpose and destiny inside of you.”

Friday’s assembly was paid for in part by the school’s SWEAT Team — Students With Education and Athletics Together — and organized by athletic coordinator Al Zinke.

“I hope the message was well-delivered,” Zinke told students after the performance. “I think it was.”

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