The second annual PAINT WAR RINGGOLD event was held as a messy and fun event for middle and high school students. Bobby Fleck, youth pastor of Ringgold UMC, organized the event at the church along with an army of more than 50 volunteers as a way to reach out to new students and have some great fun together.
“The goal for these students is to have fun in a safe but crazy way,” said Fleck. “We want them to know that we are a church that cares about them, and we want them to know that they can belong here. The PAINT WAR helps us do that.”
Through PAINT WAR RINGGOLD, students competed in paint-themed events, including paint toss, dodge paint, and field paint.
Even with the threat of rain and thunderstorms, 96 teenagers from eleven local middle and high schools participated. While falling shy of the target goal of 100 students, Fleck opened registration up to the adults who gathered to reach the goal. Four adults quickly responded, which meant that Rev. Ben Cathey, pastor of Ringgold UMC, would dye his hair blue to reward their participation.
“This event serves as a front door for youth in our community,” said Cathey. “If I it helps for me to do something unexpected like to dye my hair blue, then I think that is worth the color. The kids had fun, we hosted a great event for our community, and God was glorified.”
The parking lot, which is currently stained a multitude of colors, bares record to the fact that these teens did indeed have fun and enjoy themselves. The church expressed gratitude to the many adult volunteers who made the event successful including the Catoosa County Sherriff’s Department for security presence and the Catoosa County Fire Department for cleanup assistance during and after the event.