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2023 Celebration Banquet

God is good! What an evening! JCA students and their families and staff were blessed by the many individuals joining us for our Annual Celebration Banquet on April 18, 2023.

Howard Vroom, JCA Board President, welcomed the over 500 in attendance. This year’s theme was “United in Christ – One in Spirit” after Philippians 2:1-2. JCA 5th and 6th-grade students recited Philippians 2, not just verses 1-2, but all 18 verses from memory and while using their sign language skills to sign!

Pastor Steve Rowland of Rising Sun Church led us in an invocation before inviting JCA Board Secretary to the stage, Samona Yentes. Mrs. Yentes spoke about the success of JCA’s mission to provide an affordable, quality, and Christ-centered education to Des Moines urban youth and the importance of supporting that mission.

After enjoying fellowship and worship, attendees were treated to an incredible program showcasing JCA students’ biblical and musical talents. K-4th grade students recited Pslam 19. The JCA Praise Dance team gave an inspiring performance to “Masterpiece” by KB. New this year is the formation of the 5th & 6th grades Bucket Drum Team. They performed on buckets to Toby Mac’s “Goodness.” The student portion of the program wrapped with a thoughtful message from 2021 JCA graduate Serena Johnson on what a JCA education has meant to her current success in life.

Rev. Keith Ratliff, JCA Executive Director, honored Mrs. Kim Richman, JCA STEM teacher, for her contributions as a teacher in the classroom and all of her efforts in building a top-notch STEM program at JCA! Mrs. Marti Wojcik, Kindergarten teacher and JCA Board member honored Teacher Associate Maria Lara for always stepping up when needed in any class and for her contributions to JCA students.

Mrs. Chris Hurley, JCA Director of Advancement, gave a moving tribute to her sister and JCA volunteer and mentor, Mrs. Becky Wood. Becky was called home by the Lord last year after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. A generous donation to JCA by Becky’s family is marked by a plaque and sponsorship of one of JCA’s classrooms.

And finally, Chris Hurley reminded us just how far JCA has come in 14 short years and shared with us some ambitious plans for 2, 5 and 10 years. One of those plans includes launching a JCA Competitive Tackle Football League, which will begin this summer with a series of camps and then field 4 teams of 7th and 8th-grade students this fall! Thanks to a generous $15,000 donation by Jeff Lamberti and the Iowa Barnstormers, JCA is now raising funds to meet that match.

The Annual Celebration Banquet is JCA’s only fundraising event of the year. You can still support our efforts by donating online here or mailing a check payable to Joshua Christian Academy, 1740 Garfield Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50316.

Thank you again to everyone who made this year’s banquet a blessed success!!!

A special appreciation to our many sponsors who helped to make this event possible!

Thank you to event photographer Tim Hurley!

God is good!!