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Mentors to be honored for turning boys to men
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Beckstein/Shelton Boyhood to Manhood Luncheon

When: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. June 17

Where: First Baptist Church, 751 Green St., Gainesville

Cost: $25

Contact: 770-535-5743

In their own ways, Gene Beckstein and Nathaniel Shelton have been working for years to teach Hall County boys how to be men.

Beckstein is a former high school teacher and founder of the Good News at Noon homeless shelter. Shelton is a former teacher and social worker.

Now a group has come together to honor their efforts with the Beckstein/Shelton Boyhood to Manhood Luncheon.

“The purpose of the luncheon is twofold. First, we want to honor Beckstein and Shelton because they have spent their lifetimes working with these young men,” said Anderson Flen, a health educator with District 2 Public Health and one of the event’s organizers.

“We also want to raise money to support THINK: Teaching Harmony Integrity Nurturing and Knowledge. THINK was initiated by District 2 and is focused on helping young boys matriculate through school and help them delay fatherhood until they are in a position of greater responsibility.”

The luncheon has been set for 11:30 a.m. June 17 at the First Baptist Church on Green Street in Gainesville.

Among other things, the luncheon will include a video presentation with segments from men who have been influenced by both Shelton and Beckstein.

Tickets for the event are $25 and will be used to help fund THINK activities. THINK is a collaborative effort with several community partners, including the public health department, Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County and Brenau University.

“With THINK, we are trying to do some of the things that Beckstein and Shelton have been doing in this community for the last 50 years. We want to help these young men build a strong foundation of skills that they can apply throughout their lives,” Flen said.

“We focus on four main areas — personal integrity, civic awareness, academic proficiency and workplace literacy. In addition to the classroom lessons, we try to teach them intangibly through demonstrations and hands-on activities. We try to expose them to life experiences that they can use anywhere in the world.”

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