New program helps struggling teens, young adults leaving foster care


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Dale Pierce took part as one of the characters, Bindy the Bar Keep, in “Murder in Margaritaland.”

VIERA VOICE photo

For teens and young adults who are aging out of foster care, life can be tough.

Young adults who struggle from the repercussions of homelessness or human trafficking also can face a bleak future.

In Brevard County, a new program has evolved to fill the void in their lives at a vulnerable time.

LiftUp Young Lives, which launched in August, is a program in which Holy Trinity parish mentors and instructors hold bi-weekly classes and workshops on life skills, living skills, social skills, financial responsibility and much more.

According to its mission statement, LiftUp is designed to help young people realize their purpose and give them the tools they need to succeed in life.

"We are excited as we had five young people join us in our session that started on August 22, 2018,” Holy Trinity Deacon Stacey Westphal said.

LiftUp will have its first graduating class from Level One in December, with five young adults receiving a new laptop computer to assist them in everyday life. The participants in the first graduating class range in age from 16 to 26.

Upcoming fundraising events for LiftUp include a golf tournament fundraiser Nov. 10 and a fall shopping spree
Nov. 17.

The goal of the golf tournament, at the Majors Golf Club, is to have 60 golfers. Sponsors are needed for each hole, with a fee of $100 per hole. All levels of golfing skill are welcome to play.

The shopping spree will have a wide variety of vendors selling gift items as well as an indoor farmers market. The shopping spree is seeking vendors whose products will make great Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. It is hoped that the vendors will donate 50 to 100 percent of the day's sales to LiftUp.

Murder mystery dinner theatres also are being held several times a year.  The first one, “Murder in Margaritaland,’’ was well attended.

"(It) was great success, raising over $2,000" said Deacon Stacey Westphal, the co-director. "It was a Margaritaland setting, very tropical, not only script-wise, but our entire Parish Hall was decorated to fit the theme, including live palm trees.”

A second murder mystery dinner took place Sept. 29. To learn more about future murder mysteries, call Holy Trinity at 321-723-5272.

“Murder mystery dinners are fun because you can take part in a scenario, allow for a lot of mingling among guests, and eat dinner as one big family."

The program continually seeks assistance from the community to serve as mentors and contribute in-kind donations.

There are two upcoming events which should not be missed:

A fall shopping spree will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 17 at Holy Trinity’s Lewis Hall at the lower campus at 50 W. Strawbridge Ave. in Melbourne. Vendor submission requested by Nov. 10.

A golf tournament will be held Nov. 10 at the Majors Golf Club in Palm Bay. Registration and golfer signup is preferred by
Nov. 3.

Anyone interested in donating to or sponsoring one of these events should contact Holy Trinity at 321-723-5272 by email at LiftUpYoungLives@gmail.com. LiftUp’s website is liftupfosterteens@holytrinitymelbourne.org