Church readies fundraiser dinner for youth service trip to Costa Rica |

Church readies fundraiser dinner for youth service trip to Costa Rica

Scott Iwasaki

This summer Mark Weaver, Pastor of student and children’s ministries at Park City Community Church, will take a group of youths and adult leaders to Costa Rica for a service trip.

"We are partnering with Strong Missions, a United Methodist Missions organization, who have full-time missionaries in Costa Rica," Weaver said during an interview with The Park Record. "They do all sorts of ministry outreach such as feeding and children’s programs as well as building homes for local families.

"Normally when we partner with them we would help build homes, but this summer, they are building a new ministry facility," he said. "So we will help with the construction on that so they can continue to offer humanitarian opportunities for the local residents."

The group, which so far consists of 20 local youths in grades six through 12 and nine adult leaders, will be in Costa Rica from June 22 to June 30, will also visit two different schools, Los Guido and La Carpio, and orphanages to conduct children’s activities, as well as participate in the Loaves and Fishes feeding program.

To help pay for the trip, the Park City Community Church will host a fundraising dinner and silent auction on Sunday, March 15, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

"The cost to go to Costa Rica is $1,800 per person and our goal is to raise at least $10,000, which I believe is possible," Weaver said. "Whatever we raise during this fundraiser will be evenly distributed to the participants."

Tickets to the event are $25 and will include dinner and live music.

"You can purchase tickets at the door, but we would love to get an RSVP in advance by email so that we prepare enough food," Weaver said. "We have required that each person who is going on the trip sell at least five tickets themselves as well."

RSVPs can be made by emailing .

The evening will also feature a silent auction that will raise more money. Some of the items on the auction block will include a $6,000 orthodontic treatment package by Miller Orthodontics and two golf outings for four donated by Jeremy Ranch Golf and Country Club and Pete Dye Golf Course at Promontory.

The auction will also feature items such as Beats headphones, a custom-made wine rack, handmade jewelry and tickets to the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

"We also have a seven-night stay at the Silver King Hotel, Deer Valley donated lift tickets and we received passes donated from Utah Olympic Park," Weaver said. "We received some other great donations, and what was so exciting for us was that our local community stepped up to support our cause."

Anyone who wants to donate products or services to the silent auction can do so up until Saturday by emailing Weaver at the email above.

The pastor said these types of service trips not only benefit the local residents these areas, but also benefits the youths who go.

"Most importantly it gives youth a view of the world," he said. "A lot of the youths in Park City come from affluent families. So service trips such as this provide eye-opening opportunities as to how the rest of the world lives.

"This is a way for them to get out of their routines and out of their comfort zones and experience something spiritual by helping others and put what they learn and experience into practice," Weaver said. "It gives them reason to be thankful for what they have and, my hope, is for some of the kids who come with us will grow a heart for those who live in circumstances that are challenging. I would love it if the kids develop some compassion and continue to do these types of outreach projects in the future for the rest of their lives."

Weaver hopes the youths in the group will also realize that they can do service in their own communities.

"What I’ve seen happen with the youth that have gone to help in other countries is that they come back knowing they can serve the less fortunate on the home front," he said. "I would love to see these youths get involved and become humanitarians themselves."

The Park City Community Church, 4501 N. S.R. 224, will host a dinner fundraiser on Sunday, March 15, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and RSVPs can be made by emailing .