After a decade spent serving students and parents in Carter County, YW8 will hold their 9th annual fundraising banquet next Thursday.
The organization teaches sexual risk avoidance classes that focus on waiting until marriage and developing the skills to do so. YW8 Director Deana Evans said the banquet will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 29 at the Ardmore Convention Center. YW8’s 10th anniversary was officially March 17.
“That’s our big fundraiser that helps to support a lot of our programming,” Evans said.
Evans said the program is going to be different from previous years.
“This year our program is only an hour, we’ll have hors d ’orderves beforehand and they’ll get to see what a class lesson looks like,” Evans said. “We’ll model two of the activities so they can really see what we’re teaching the students.”
A video testimony from a YW8 alum will play during the dinner as well.
The organization will be raffling off a Yeti cooler, tickets to James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt, a night at the Shiloh Morning Inn, a $100 gift card and a set of tires. Guests will have a chance to donate to YW8 during the evening.
“We want them to be our honored guests,” Evans said. “We really make it a personal event.”
She said that while the organization has changed over time, the core messages have stayed the same.
“The needs have stayed the same,” said. “We’ve gained more educators, we’ve gained more students. We’ve changed the curriculum to keep it updated and more appealing to the kids but our message and vision hasn’t changed.”
Evans said the curriculum has expanded to include lessons about internet and social media safety.  
“That’s a big one we’ve had to adjust to,” Evans said. “We talk about the dangers that go along with it, like child pornography and sex trafficking. We also talk about the digital imprint. When you post something on there, it could be there for 10 years.”
Patti Crabtree has been with the organization since the beginning. She said she’s seen an increased demand for parenting skills classes in that time, which she now oversees.
“We have a lot of loving parents that don’t have the skills to parent,” Crabtree said. “There’s no perfect parent, but some of us just need to learn the skills and have a plan.”
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m and the program will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are free, but guests must rsvp by March 27 to attend. To rsvp call YW8 at (580)490-9980.