You may not read about this group for their accomplishments on the front pages or the sports pages, but the young people and the adults who part of the organization called Young Life are all winners and deserving of attention.

Young Life is an organization that gives young people a place gather while focusing on the premise that you are never alone because Christ is always at your side. Locally Young Life members mainly come from Riverside-Brookfield High School, but the group includes students from other schools as well.  

They meet at the Hollywood Community House where they can be themselves and share different aspects of their lives. The popularity of the group has resulted in an expansion of the program last year when WyldLife, for junior high-age students, was formed. There are no dues, or qualifications to belonging just the desire to be there.

On Nov. 18, Young Life held their 10th year celebration benefit with over 200 people gathering at the Riverside Golf Club. Because Young Life exists on donations, the generosity of many has made it possible for the organization to continue and grow.

Heading up the local group is Jonathan Gorney, who served as emcee for the program and is a staff member at Riverside-Brookfield High School. Speakers included Dan Bonarigo, an RBHS teacher; student Samantha Bloom, who spoke of living out the legacy; Chesleigh Rogers, director of the WyldLife group; and Mike Ashburn, special assistant to the president of Young Life. 

The highlight of the evening, along with a slide show featuring past and present members giving testimony, was when the doors opened and in came more than 50 young people obviously happy being members of Young Life. I have seen their participation helping in various ways, seeing young people given the opportunity to attend camps or going places to help others. A family member went to Nicaragua and was able to assist at an orphanage. She came back feeling she received more than she had given.

To learn more about Young Life or help support it go to and be part of the continuing legacy in the Riverside-Brookfield community area. Be part of a winning team.